Metrics for tracking fleet progress

In the current edition of Automotive Fleet, I’ve suggested several environmental metrics for fleets to track. These are:

  • Total greenhouse gas emissions
  • Greenhouse gases per miles traveled
  • Greenhouse gases per vehicle
  • Greenhouse gases per ton of freight moved
  • Cost per metric ton of greenhouse gases reduced
  • Percentage of vehicles in the fleet that emit less than 15, 10 and 5 tons a year
  • Percentage of drivers that match or exceed EPA MPG combined rating

Read more

Low-Energy Computing: Why not replace PCs with thin clients?

When it comes to corporate computer networks, it's smart to be thin — even if that means the machines on your employees' desks are dumb.

Thin client computers, made by HP, Wyse and others, are designed to be dumb. These stripped-down terminals run programs like internet browsers and word processors but store data on central servers (unlike conventional PCs which have their own processors and memory).

So what? Read more

Green Global Partners: Big Biz & EDF

Award-winning journalist Edward Iwata, chatted up our very own Gwen Ruta for a post on his CoolGlobalBiz.com blog.  Check out his post to see what she had to say about:

  • Companies forging ahead on green strategies, despite the global recession
  • Corporations going beyond lip service and window-dressing on green issues
  • Charting the real progress of companies on their environmentally-friendly practice
  • Private-equity firms going green

PaperCalculator 2.0: An even more robust tool for managing paper

EDF recently enhanced one of our most popular resources for companies: PaperCalculator.org.

Now fully updated with the latest scientific information, it is a robust tool for understanding how different paper choices affect the environment – whether you want to know how many trees were spared by reducing paper use, or the energy savings from choosing recycled content versus virgin.

Random House, Staples, PepsiCo, Wells Fargo and Starbucks, among others, have used PaperCalculator.org to manage their paper purchases. In total, the tool saw 27,000 uses in the past year.

So what’s new with version 2.0? Read more

A Dollar Today: The Advantages of Building in Energy Controls

By Hunt Briggs, MBA/MS candidate, Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, 2009 Climate Corps fellow at Biltmore Farms, Member of Net Impact

I’ve worked with Biltmore Farms in Asheville, NC this summer, deciphering energy bills, tracking power demand trends and seeking cost-effective ways for the operations team to boost efficiency in their building portfolio. Read more

Lean Business is Green Business: Improving performance with EDF’s Green Portfolio Framework

A little over a year ago, EDF kicked off a partnership with private equity (PE) leader Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR). The goal of the project is to develop and implement a system (we’re calling it the Green Portfolio Framework) for improving environmental and business performance across KKR’s portfolio companies. Through the process, we hope to create significant business benefits for KKR and its portfolio companies and a new model for the PE sector. The PE industry has a history of building lean businesses through a laser-like focus on financial and operational performance.

Our hypothesis is that environmental measurement and management can make companies even more efficient and successful. If we’re right, we expect to see environmental management adopted across the PE sector as a new best practice for operational improvement and value creation.

Based on the initial results, we’re off to a good start: Read more

Looking through (insulated) glass for energy savings

By Katie Schindall, MBA/MEM candidate, Yale University, 2009 Climate Corps fellow at Sodexo, member of Net Impact

Window film is cool stuff. Literally. It reflects the sun and insulates buildings. It is used to keep buildings cool on hot, sunny days, and to keep heat from escaping in cold climates.

According to an article published on FacilitiesNet in 2006, window film can reduce heat penetration up to 80 percent and improve insulation by as much as 32 percent for single-pane windows or as much as 23 percent for double-pane glass. Anecdotal evidence repeatedly notes increased employee comfort from the decreased solar glare and better insulation. Read more

Wal-Mart's Sustainability Index: Thoughts from an (almost) insider

Fresh out of Wal-Mart’s quarterly “Sustainability Milestone Meeting,” where the company announced its intention to create and support a Sustainability Index to measure and rate the environmental attributes of products, I’m left with a lot of questions – and also a lot of hope for the future.

I won’t attempt to recap the discussions already swirling around the blogosphere about whether or not this effort is real (Joel Makower’s blog does a pretty good job of summing up the issues). Instead, I’ll give a sample of what I heard today and why we need to help ensure its success.

Amidst the normal hullabaloo of a Wal-Mart event – part business meeting, part tent revival – two key executives reinforced that they understand the imperative of sustainability and why the company needs to act. Read more

Where Do Good (sustainability) Ideas Come From?

Exploring Networking, Knowledge, & Learning for Sustainability

This summer I am fortunate to be working on an internship with Environmental Defense Fund's Innovation Exchange (EDF) and AltaTerra Research. I am exploring how Fortune 1000 executives learn about sustainability and their business. We want to learn more about the resources executives use to make decisions around sustainability – where they get information, generate ideas, find partners, and solve problems. The results will be published by AltaTerra Research and will inform EDF's work to further sustainable business practices.

The first step was to gain familiarity with the sustainable knowledge networking landscape. Read more

@EDF_InnovEx Twitterview with @Bluebirdtweets

This afternoon, I did a Twitterview (a mini-interview on Twitter) with Elizabeth Seeger, the inaugural Geballe Fellow, about her work over the past two years in EDF’s Corporate Partnerships Program.
This was an experiment, so please comment and let us know what you think about the format & style.  And if there are other questions we should have asked, put those in as well and hopefully we can get Elizabeth to answer them.
The transcript of the Twitterview from Twitter Search follows (since the most recent posts are at the top, start reading from the bottom). Read more