Several interesting items in today’s World Business Council for Sustainable Development‘s “Business and Sustainable Development” newsletter:
From the Australian, news that emissions trading is growing quickly:
Emissions trading has had many doubters, especially those who say Europe on its own, without America, would struggle to establish a market mechanism to help firms become more environmentally friendly. But since January, trading volumes have grown, carbon prices have soared and the City of London has moved into pole position to become the hub of this new market.
In January the average daily carbon volume traded in Europe was about 300,000 tonnes but, give or take intermittent spikes, the daily average had trebled to about 1 million tonnes by June. The value of the market has grown even more sharply because the price of an allowance for a tonne of carbon dioxide emitted has shot up from E6 to E20 ($32), with a peak in early June of E29. On those days in July when 2 million tonnes were traded, the value of those transactions approached pound stg. 40 million.
The Christian Science Monitor reports on ways that businesses are getting creative in terms of saving energy in light of rising oil prices:
* More companies are helping employees cut out-of-pocket fuel expenses through telecommuting programs.
* A campaign in Atlanta pays commuters $ 3 a day for three months if they switch to “clean commutes,” such as bicycles and van pools.
* The car-sharing companies that are springing up offer a significant number of gas-sipping hybrids.
* The owner of some Milwaukee gasoline stations is giving a discount to cabdrivers who buy his brand of gas.
Finally, an article from USA Today on the economic benefits of greening business. Actually, I find this one a little bothersome, as it focuses only on those addressing the lowest of the low-hanging fruit:
* Retail. Wal-Mart in July began a sustainable store test starting with the construction of a 206,000-square-foot store in Texas. The eco-centric design deploys 26 energy-saving and renewable-materials experiments.
* Auto. Japanese automakers have made hybrid vehicles mainstream. Toyota expects to sell more than 150,000 of its popular Prius cars, which might soon get a special emblem to flag their gas-saving and emissions-reducing status.
* Water. Starbucks recently rolled out its own Ethos bottled water in stores, along with a commitment to donate a nickel from each bottle toward a $10 million donation to help improve drinking-water conditions around the world.
* Cleaning products. San Francisco start-up company Method combines natural ingredients and sharp design for its household cleaning products. The brand is a hit with consumers. Since 2000, the company’s second year of business, sales are up 250%. “We’re reaching a broader audience and bringing more people into the green movement who previously didn’t care,” says Adam Lowry, co-founder of Method with Eric Ryan.
While these are important steps forward for these particular companies, it seems to me that there are much more imaginative and innovative steps being taken then the ones listed here.