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Green procurement - Connecting sustainability and profitability

Today, customer demand is driving manufacturers and suppliers to become sustainable. Procurement can play a key role in driving the supply-chain towards sustainability. Green procurement refers to acquiring products, services, utilities, and work not based on criteria of price/quality only, but also with considerations of minimizing environmental impacts, of fairness and social justice, and economically viable, now and in the long term.   

Read more about Successful sustainability initiatives in corporate America and Sustainability best practices among leading companies.

Examples of green procurement range from the purchase of energy-saving lightbulbs to utilizing 'green' office supplies, retrofitting buildings with solar panels or recycled materials. purchasing organic food to be served in cafeterias, replacing vehicle fleet with electric vehicles, and more. The ultimate green procurement is the avoidance of the purchase altogether.Companies that implement sustainability initiatives develop and publish a 'Sustainable Development Procurement Guidelines and Procedures' to their supply-chain.

However, there are varying shades of  Going Green and some of the considerations for the supply chain may be:... read more

  • •    Recycled content
  • •    Bio-based content
  • •    Assessing toxic content (like Mercury in fluorescent lights)
  • •    Energy or water consumption
  • •    Products take-back and actual recycling

Green education - top Green colleges and high-school initiatives

As the green economy has moved to the center of the economic recovery in 2010 and environmental and social reponsibility awareness have increased, more and more students are looking for 'green' education.

Nowadays, about two-thirds of college applicants are interested in environmentally responsible schools and whether the campus is ‘green’. Prominence, location and vibrant social life are not the only criteria. Several higher education collges and universities in the US have a strong commitment to sustainability and have been working rigorously to reduce their environmental impact. Some of their initiatives are inspiring as the colleges go beyond recycling or using biodegradable tableware and utensils in the cafeterias, or retrofitting solar panels on roofs. Several have organic gardens, waste treatment centers, and programs to offset carbon emissions.

Based on the results of a survey by the Sierra Club (published last October), read more about the school's list Colleges go green-The top eco conscious schools in the US.

Image from flickr.comImage from flickr.com

The younger generation is inspired into environmental activism and entrepreneurship even earlier. At the fourth annual Tech Titans of Tomorrow: Teens Plugges In 2010 conference on April 23, 2010, several outstanding teenagers presented their initiatives. Intersecting technology and environmental activism, there were two teen entrepreneur environmenatl teams who have been changing one school at a time, through an eductional initiative of climate change curriculum and lifestyle behavior changes to 9th grade students, as well as, energy metering and management in school facilities, reducing costs and alleviating scarce school resources. Read about Menlo-Atherton High School (Menlo Park, CA) and Harker School (San Jose, CA) and their  green teams: Green teen entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

... read more

March 2010 - Green events in the San Francisco Bay Area

March presents several webinars, discussions and networking opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area encompassing various environmental sectors.


Events include:... read more



  • An exclusive research regarding the American Photo Voltaic (PV) market - the challenges and opportunities this sector will face in 2010;

  • An overview of prominent sustainability frameworks, protocols and tracking tools;

Green events in the San Francisco Bay Area – February 2010

When it comes to cleantech and sustainability, how can we bridge the gap between theory and practice and provide a comprehensive real-world view of the future of cleantech?Image from FreeFotoImage from FreeFoto

Check the following events and networking opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area:... read more

The future of garbage in Palo Alto, CA

What’s in your trash receptacles? Palo Alto is in the process of crafting a new Recycling and Composting ordinance to restrict recyclables and compostables from the garbage.

On January 27, 2010, the City of Palo Alto conducted its first public meeting regarding the proposed Recycling and Composting Ordinance. ... read more

More CleanTech/GreenTech events in Silicon Valley, CA - Early 2010

What are the areas for opportunity in Clean Tech in 2010?


To learn of the challenges the industry faces and enhance learnings, here are a few more events in Silicon Valley: Image from Silicon French websiteImage from Silicon French website... read more

CleanTech/GreenTech events in Silicon Valley - January 2010

Clean technology (CleanTech) has become a prominent sector in many countries; some call this emerging sector a revolution. However what, in point of fact, is done? Where are we headed, where are we behind and what are the next steps? How does Information Technology (IT) leverage clean tech innovations?

When it comes to green technology, is the US moving forward fast enough to make a difference globally?

Check the following events:... read more

BioSolar Bio-Plastics in Solar Cells

One of the essential problems with solar power is the cost. Even with government subsidies and major growth, photovolatic energy is not cost competitive when compared to traditional power sources such as oil and coal.  An element of photovoltaic costs is the materials used in the manufacturing process. Approximately 75 percent of the costs of solar cell comes from the sunlight-to-electricity converter.  The remaining 25 percent is produced from manufactured packaging including petroleum-based plastics.  These plastics are prisoners to the ever increasing cost of petroleum and add to environmental degradation that solar is seeking to remedy.

 

The problem is that most conventional bio-plastics are not suitable for use in solar cells.  These renewable plant based materials posses a lower melting point and fragile molecular structure.  The high temperature production of photovoltaics usually causes breakdowns or alterations in structure.  Thus, one aspect of lowering costs in the solar industry and tackling the problem of down stream pollution is the creation of alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.

BioSolar

For an industry with an expected growth to $50 billion by 2020, there is a huge gap in the market that needs to be filled.  Enter BioSolar. BioSolar is a Santa Clarita, California based company that is the first anywhere to introduce a new dimension of cost reduction by replacing petroleum-based plastic solar cell components with durable bio-based materials.  BioSolar was formed in 2006 by electrical engineer and current CEO Dr. David Lee. BioSolar, Inc. is a public company trading on the NASDAQ Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) market under the symbol "BSRC" or "BSRC.OB".

 ... read more

Solar Energy - A Franchise opportunity

I was just lloking through a top 10 list of 2009 articles around franchise opportunites and ran into the attached interview of a Solar Franchise company.  For those looking for careers in Green tech, maybe owning your own business in Green Tech is the answer. There appear to be many of thse types of opportunites out there.


http://www.thefranchisekingblog.com/2009/02/new-solar-energy-franchise-opportunity.html

How to grasp a career in solar

There are reasons for 'green careers' optimism. In particular, the renewable energy economy sparks high interest and creates numerous opportunities for green jobs and career training paths. The federal government is investing billions into the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors to help get the U.S. economy back on track. Existing and emerging businesses are investing even more. Photo by Swords to PlowsharesPhoto by Swords to Plowshares... read more

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