Where You'll Find Us in September (Conferences of interest)

Where You'll Find Us in September:

Look for us at these conferences – and let us know if you’ll be there so we can watch for you as well!

You can always see where we're going to be – and what conferences we're watching – on the Innovation Exchange Calendar.

Also, please join us in congratulating Rachel Beckhardt on her impending nuptials and honeymoon.  We’ll be welcoming her back as Rachel Beckhardt Hinchliffe later this month.

Smart irrigation for landscaping and crops

This week 2,000+ scientists, policy makers, NGO leaders and corporate representatives convened in Stockholm for World Water Week, where they grappled with water scarcity, access and other thorny water issues.

But what should companies be doing about it—now? Just like with energy efficiency, there is much low-hanging fruit to be picked where water is concerned. Read more

The Power (Savings) of Focusing Fresh Eyes on Energy Efficiency

By Patricia Kenlon, a 2009 Climate Corps fellow and a Net Impact member, is pursuing a Master's of Business Administration degree at New York University.

I spent my summer with TXU Energy (TXUE) in Dallas, Texas, identifying ways to improve the energy efficiency of the company's two main office buildings.

TXUE is an electricity provider in Texas with over 2 million customers. It plans to invest $100 million to develop innovative energy efficiency products and services to help its customers save energy.

With so much in-house experience and expertise, I originally felt as if I were bringing coals to Newcastle. However, I was able to identify some great opportunities with the help of the TXUE team. Read more

Kickin’ the Tires on the Hybrid Truck Market

Back in 2000, EDF and FedEx joined forces to develop a hybrid diesel-electric delivery truck and selected Eaton Corporation to build it. The idea was that the drive train Eaton built – which reduces fuel consumption while cutting pollution – would eventually reach economies of scale and transform the industry.

A recent GreenBiz article about Eaton suggests this market transformation is starting to happen. Read more

How to Harvest Savings by Greening Leases

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

A few weeks ago I wrote about a growing trend among real estate owners  to create more energy efficient facilities. In a similar way, an increasing number of tenants are looking for ways to drive down operating costs where possible. For example, here at Biltmore Farms, we have a specific tenant in Biltmore Park that holds environmental stewardship as a core company value. As a property manager, what can we do to help and encourage tenants to exercise that shared principle?

Green leasing
is becoming more popular in real estate these days as building owners and tenants find themselves codependent when it comes to reducing consumption.
Read more

Harnessing Market Power for the Environment

Here at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), we look for market based solutions to environmental problems. As the guy in charge of managing our partnership pipeline process, I’m constantly on the lookout for new win-win environmental and business solutions we can pioneer with companies. I’m often asked how we identify the companies that we partner with. And increasingly the word I use is LEVERAGE.

Read more

Sustainability leaders tackle big issues at Silicon Valley's GIBU 09

The 130 sustainability leaders who gathered at the recent EDF/Ashoka "Green Innovation for Business Unconference" (or GIBU) in Silicon Valley didn't shy away from tough questions. Here are a few of the thornier ones:

* Should "green" be a source of competitive advantage—or does that hold us back from critical knowledge-sharing?

* Should internal sustainability initiatives continue to be presented to employees as voluntary programs and/or special projects? What are the tradeoffs if we require participation rather than incentivize it?

* Can we continue to shift all knowledge and commercial transactions to the computing "cloud" without confronting the total environmental costs of data transfer and storage?

Luckily, there was no shortage of brain power at this latest installment in the GIBU series, which eBay hosted at its San Jose conference center on August 5. Dozens of companies—including Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Intuit, NetApp, Nvidia, Palm, Salesforce.com and Yahoo!—were at the table, along with consulting firms and leading-edge nonprofits and foundations (such as Grid Alternatives, Imagine H20, Net Impact, Skoll Foundation and Sustainable Silicon Valley.) Read more

Chief Sustainability Officers in Training…

As the second Geballe Fellow, I have the benefit of stepping into the Green Portfolio Project just as enthusiasm and momentum for our work with KKR and the private equity sector is beginning to take off. This spring, KKR announced that five additional portfolio companies would join the Project and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and helping them to identify opportunities to increase business value while reducing environmental impact. Read more