Monday, November 27, 2006

Employee Behind Toyota Prius Dies

David Hermance, the executive engineer for environment engineering and the Toyota official credited with the success of the Prius in the U.S., died Saturday when the small plane he was piloting crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

The Next Bill Gates an Environmental Entrepreneur?

Thanks to for guiding me to this article about how environmental entrepreneurship will continue to grow due to the opportunities it presents. And like Microsoft, the article predicts that “Many new Googles and Yahoos and Ebays will be created in this new industry.”

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2007 Social Capitalist Awards

Fast Company's cover story this month is The 2007 Social Capitalist Awards. The link lists the winners and has a number of valuable articles and podcasts and links to past year's winners.

I find it very inspirational to read about the organizations and people who lead them. On this eve of Thanksgiving, I would like to 'give thanks' that there are people in this world who are selfless enough to dedicate their career, if not their lives, to improving the lives of others. Not many of us have what it takes, so I find it very heartwarming to learn of these leaders and organizations.

One side note - there is a business that is local to to me that helps those who are less fortunate. It does a lot of good in the area helping individuals. I just learned that the CEO, who founded the company over twenty years ago, pays himself only about $60,000 per year. Unbelievable considering they are successful enough for him to pay himself much more. Very inspirational indeed!

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Blue Nile

Blue Nile, an internet jewelry company, is a rare company in that half of both their executives and board members are women (and 48% of all employees are women). This article also talks of some women's organizations trying to help companies open their eyes to the wealth of talent out there who just happen not to be men.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

William McDonough's Tower of Tomorrow

This month's Fortune magazine is dedicated to industrial design of the future. William McDonough chose to feature a building design using technology available today. The prices on some features, he admits, are high at this point. But the tower uses a biomimicry type design in that he tries to mimic some of the features of a tree. It has solar panels that produces much of its own power; it has tree-filled terraces that recycle water; it contains plant-filled atriums that clean the air; and its roofs are designed to absorb, not reflect heat. There are other features as well, including using McDonough's "cradle-to-cradle" design, that aims to mimic nature in that all waste equals food. In this building's example, all products "are designed to return safely to the earth or to be reused."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Take the Slate Green Challenge, in partnership with, is putting on a challenge for people to cut their carbon emissions by the end of the year. Click here to learn more about the Green Challenge.

Q&A About Carbon Trading

I've heard a great deal about carbon trading (and have posted about it on this blog), but never with much of an explanation of exactly what it means. The BBC posted an easy-to-understand Q&A about carbon trading back in April. I just came across it today, but I hope it will be helpful to others out there who might be interested in understanding carbon trading more.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The "Philanthropreneurs"

Don't miss this article from today's NY Times about how some billionaires, like Sir Richard Branson, Pierre Omidyar, Steve Case and Jeffrey Skoll are investing in ways to help the underdeveloped world. They may not call it philanthropy, but putting money in the marketplace in order to bring about positive change.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Two from Fortune Magazine

A couple of recent issues of Fortune Magazine contained articles on sustainable business issues - that's not to mention their cover story back in July on the greening of Wal-Mart.

On October 16th, an article which actually appeared in Business 2.0 magazine first, is an article about Adobe Systems, the makers of Photoshop and the .pdf file, among others. Adobe has made a committment to environmentalism - they were the first company to receive a platinum award from the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council under its current Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Also, the article mentions that Adobe has invested $1.1 million in a number of energy-efficient project. This investment has given them close to $1 million in annual savings.

On October 25th, Fortune printed an article about how investment banks are paying more attention to energy-saving initiatives. The article speaks of Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs and what they are doing in their own facilities.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Future of Commercial Aircraft?

Just an interesting article about a quieter and more fuel-efficient commercial airplane developed by the Cambridge-MIT Institute. The article doesn't make it seem like this particular plane, the SAX-40, will be produced any time soon, but it's positive to see that airplane redesigns to cut energy use are being considered. The article also mentions how it's more likely the SAX-40 or another more fuel-efficient airplane will be produced if the airline is ever taxed as a result of their emissions.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006 - A Microfinance Example

I've spoken about microfinance before on this site. I learned a bit more about it while attending this year's Net Impact conference when I got to hear Maria Otero, the president and CEO of Accion International.

Two days after returning from the conference, PBS featured microfinance on their Frontline program. In this case, they featured, an organization that allows people to lend their money to specific projects. The site shows the entrepreneurs in need of funding. Individuals can choose to loan money to specific entrepreneurs and are able to receive updates about their progress with their business. To date, the repayment rate on loans are a perfect 100%. Lenders do not receive interest and are not allowed to write off any of the loan amount, but I feel strongly that if more people knew about this, the more help people in need would get the help they need to start or continue businesses that can literally turn their lives around. The reason for this is that they would have a personal connection with the specific projects they choose to lend their money to. And 100% of the money they lend goes to the entrepreneur - no administration fees are skimmed off the top like occurs when money is donated to charities.

Please check out's website and pass their information and information about other organizations dealing in microfinance, like Accion Internation, to people you think might be interested in helping touch the lives of individual entrepreneurs in countries throughout the world.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CNN Article on Eco-Tourism

Here's a good article on Eco-tourism from CNN. As popularity of eco-tourism increases, consumers will have to beware of the travel industry's form of 'green washing'. Eco-tourism and how different lodges operate are up to interpretation at this point, so consumers must decide what is most important to them before committing what is typically a higher-priced vacation than a traditional trip.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Inc. Magazine's, "The Eco Advantage"

Inc. Magazine's cover feature for the November 2006 issue is "Do Good, Get Rich" - 50 Green Entrepreneurs. I haven't had the chance to look at it myself at this point, but look forward to doing so soon.