EDFix Call #8: Open Source Processes in Business

Many organizations now rely on open source software, ranging from the famed Linux operating system to its web-server cousin Apache, right down to curiously named programs like jboss, tomcat, Moodle, Drupal, mailman, SugarCRM, Zimbra, Asterisk and smarty.

But how many have adopted open source processes? The programmer communities that designed those applications (and the Internet they mostly ride) developed principles and practices that are broadly useful. These include keeping the code and the conversations completely open to outsiders, governance and licensing models, and platform and interoperability strategies.

We have an opportunity to take a quick, deep dive into a particular situation where these dynamics are at work. Read more

Where You'll Find Us in March

On March 3rd, Gwen Ruta will be a “working-group facilitator” at The Wall Street Journal’s ECO:nomics Conference in Santa Barbara, CA.

From March 9th thru March 12th Jana Holt and Jason Mathers will be at the National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show in St. Louis, MO. In Conjunction with the Work Truck Show, Jana will be speaking at The Green Truck Summit on Incentives on March 9th. At the event, EDF will be showcasing a new white-paper on greenhouse management for medium duty trucks, based on our Green Fleet program.

Business author Bruce Piasecki will be speaking at the National Press Club’s Holeman Lounge on March 10th about his book "The Surprising Solution," and Dave Witzel will attend the event to learn more about "Succeeding in a Carbon and Capital Constrained World."

Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp and Director of Marketing Communications for Corporate Partnerships, Melanie Janin will be in New York City on March 15th for the Economist’s Corporate Citizenship Conference where former President Bill Clinton will give the keynote address. Read more

Why Walmart's Carbon Commitment Can Make Such a Difference

Archimedes said "Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the earth," when explaining the principle of levers.

Leverage is the big news about Walmart’s announcement today. The company has committed to reducing 20 million metric tons of carbon pollution from its products’ lifecycle and supply chain over the next five years. That’s equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3.8 million cars.

So is Walmart moving the earth? No, not yet. But this is precisely the kind of innovative approach to reducing carbon pollution that we need right now. Environmental Defense Fund worked closely with Walmart to craft this goal and project that makes the most of what Walmart can uniquely do to cut carbon pollution across the globe.

This commitment is bold because: Read more

Consumed by Consumption

Last month, I attended my first Solutions Lab in Durham, North Carolina. For those that don't know, Environmental Defense Fund is hosting Solutions Labs around the country to bring together sustainability thought leaders from all walks of life. To be honest, I was a little skeptical that the "unconference"-style event (one where attendees choose the topics of discussion) would be a good use of my time. Fortunately, my concerns were unwarranted. Not only was this one of the best conferences I've attended in a long time, but it also tackled an issue that the sustainable business community has generally shied away from – CONSUMPTION. Read more

Kirk Talks Cleantech and Energy Efficiency Investment at Duke


Kirk Hourdajian

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Duke Conference on Sustainable Business and Social Impact, at Duke University’s Fuqua Business School.  Keynote speakers included Chad Holliday, former CEO and current Board Chairman of DuPont; Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and Dina Powell, Global Head of Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs.

My panel, "Cleantech, make it, fund it," was part of the Finance breakout track.  My co-panelists and I represented an interesting cross-section of the private equity/venture capital industry: Read more

Sharing is Caring: An Energy Efficiency Wiki to Share Knowledge and Best Practices

According to recent article by GreenBiz, 2010 is the year for Energy Efficiency.    With more awareness of and incentives for energy efficiency, companies and households alike are trying to find ways to reduce energy consumption and cut costs.

The goal of Environmental Defense Fund’s Innovation Exchange is to Copy of iStock_typing000005238151Largeencourage widespread adoption of innovations and best practices that lead to tangible environmental results.  To that end, we are experimenting with an energy efficiency wiki to foster commercial building energy efficiency practices. Read more

EDFix Call #7: Bottom-Up Global Problem Solving

Sustainability movements worldwide have created major new institutions and exchanges, from high-level conferences and carbon taxes to national markets and associated currencies.

Anthony Williams, co-author of Wikinomics and its forthcoming sequel, Macrowikinomics, has a hunch these efforts are the wrong way to go about precipitating the broad, deep changes we need if we really are going to change how we all get around, get power, eat, shop, learn, share and make things. We need to rely less on centralized control and more on self-organizing efforts everywhere initiating small experiments and piloting social innovations. Some of these will mushroom into pervasive changes in societal behavior. Read more

EDFix Call #6 afterthoughts: Cutting Holes in the IP Funnel

EDFix Call #6 – Summary (9:01)
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EDFix Call #6 – Full (42:36)
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John Wilbanks from Science Commons and Kelly Lauber, Director of Nike's Sustainable Business & Innovation Lab,  joined us on the February 8th EDFix call to discuss the GreenXchange project, which was announced at the World Economic Forum in January.

Highlights from the call included: Read more

Solutions Labs 2010 Kick-Off at Duke

I like structure. I like to know what my day will look like so I can plan ahead. Itineraries and calendars are my friends (especially when they are color coordinated). So when I decided to go to an "unconference" with no set agenda, I really didn’t know what to expect. All of these questions fluttered into my head: what the heck is an unconference? No agenda? How do I prepare? For those of you out there who have similar questions, this post is for you. Read more