It’s been a big year for corporate responsibility. A huge oil spill, continued ructions in the financial sector, landmark decisions in the courts, and a new dawn for online companies around human rights issues are among the top CSR stories of 2010.
The way it is looking right now it sometimes seems like China is going to leave the US in the dust in the post fossil energy economy. Recent signs point to an increasingly green thinking China that is getting serious about greening its economy and making it much more energy efficient and one has a serious long term plan (and potential) to green its economy. Its wind and solar sectors are growing at a breakneck pace and are poised to continue doing so and within a few years — if this growth rate continues — will propel China into a world leading position in solar and wind energy production. In updated news the Pew Charitable Trusts has reported that China is now spending almost twice as much as the US is on investments in investments in clean renewable energy. Last year (2009) U.S. clean energy investments reached $18.6 billion, while China invested $34.6 billion in their clean tech energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program is hosting two Webinars tomorrow, Wednesday, November 18. The first targets recipients of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), and the second targets state and local officials interested in the role of policy in renewable energy market development.
Are most homebuyers interested in purchasing a home that saves 90% over a traditional home on heating and cooling costs and requires only a small active heating system the size of a hairdryer? The Passivhaus movement is an exciting building design concept that offers tremendous energy savings due to reliance on passive heating systems. Europe is embracing the concept with between ten and fifteen thousand houses already built and governmental support of mandating the standard. The Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt was formed in 1996 to promote and control passive house design and the group only recently formed the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) to reach out directly to the US building market. It is slow to gain momentum, but holds promise for the US market in the future.
The first wave of green IT solutions failed to make sustainability benefits tangible according to a new study conducted on the sector by the independent research firm Verdantix. However, innovative IT sustainability solutions just released into the market or on the horizon for 2010 – will quickly demonstrate the tech sector’s role in supporting corporate sustainability strategies.
Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs), also known as ground-source heat pumps, are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but use the thermally stable mass of the earth below the ground instead of outside air to provide heating, air conditioning and, in most cases hot water as well. Because these systems use the earth’s natural reservoir of stable temperatures, they are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies around. GHPs can save substantial amounts of energy and significantly reduce peak demand in buildings that incorporate them.
The Report can be purchased as part of a subscription to Progressive Investor or separately for $89. Progressive Investor is a monthly newsletter that guides investors and analysts toward green investments. Published by SustainableBusiness.com, it covers all green business sectors, including renewable energy, green building and healthy lifestyle. You can read an excerpt of the Report on SustainableBusiness.com. It is an in-depth interview with Patrick McVeigh, president of Reynders, McVeigh Capital Management, a green/social portfolio management firm. Progressive Investor talked with him about his impression of market conditions, the impact of the stimulus plan on cleantech, and how they are managing porfolios under these circumstances. You can also read the sample article, The Green Investment Landscape.