23 April 2010

Anniversary Issue! Executive compensation, pedal-powered PR, green colleges and other company, technology and industry info

Top Stories

It's Friday and this is our First Anniversary Issue! HaraBara Daily Brief began one year ago in a garage in India, and has been helping subscribers make Smarter Green Decisions™ ever since. We hope you have been benefiting from these selections from GreenBase. Let us know how we can make Daily Brief better. And tell your friends.

City dwellers cite climate as top concern: poll.reliability high.
"Climate change topped the list of concerns by some two-thirds of Hong Kong residents polled as well as majorities of residents of London, Paris, Sao Paolo, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney, according to the poll of 2,044 urban residents around the world. Residents of U.S. cities, however, ranked the economy as the biggest global issue, closely followed by terrorism with climate change ranking third." The poll was conducted by HSBC. Story at Reuters.

RWE launches green bonus scheme for executives.reliability high.
"European energy giant RWE AG, parent of UK energy firm Npower, has today become the latest blue-chip firm to tie sustainable development to executive bonuses as part of a new remuneration scheme. The change means that RWE management bonuses will no longer be measured solely on financial performance, but will also be awarded based on an executive's ability to meet a range of non-financial criteria, including targets for environmental protection, employee focus and customer loyalty. Under the new scheme, 25 per cent of each executive's total annual bonus will now be set aside at the end of each financial year and placed in a "green" pot, which will be distributed every three years." See BusinessGreen article. [European companies seem to be using this approach more than U.S. companies. We spotted an earlier item on DSM.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Microsoft joins Goodwill recycling program.reliability high.
"Microsoft announced Wednesday its joining Dell and Goodwill Industries International in their ongoing recycling program. ... Through a program started in partnership with Dell in 2004 called Reconnect, participating Goodwill centers allow people to drop off their used computers and related peripherals to be recycled for free." From CNET News.

Danish eco-hotel offers pedalpower free meal.reliability high.
"A Danish hotel is offering a free meal to any guest who is able to produce electricity for the hotel on an exercise bike attached to a generator. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen says the idea is to get people fit and reduce their carbon footprint. Guests will have to produce at least 10 watt hours of electricity - roughly 15 minutes of cycling for someone of average fitness." Story at BBC News. [Why just in a hotel? Maybe homeless people could pedal for their supper at street kiosks? "Guests staying at Plaza Hotel will be given meal vouchers worth $36 (26 euros; £23) once they have produced 10 watt hours of electricity, hotel spokeswoman Frederikke Toemmergaard told the BBC News website." But 10 Watt-hours of electricity is only worth about one-tenth of a cent, so without subsidy you would have to pedal more than 100 hours to earn a cup of coffee. Doesn't look like squirrel cages for the masses will solve our energy problem.]

How To Create a Workplace Recycling Program.reliability medium.
Environmental services company Earth911 offers detailed guide to setting up workplace recycling, starting with "Select a Recycling Coordinator. Accountability is key to the success of your recycling program." See Earth911 site. [A good checklist.]

Is Green Good for Business?reliability medium.
"For a closer look at the Hewlett-Packard, and for a serious look at how those green initiatives are benefiting the bottom line, Cramer invited Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Mendenhall onto Mad Money." Video of interview. From CNBC.

Sunny Delight Stops Sending Waste to Landfill.reliability high.
"Last week, Sunny Delight Beverage Co.'s Sherman, Texas, manufacturing plant became the company's final site to complete its goal of sending zero waste to landfill. Sunny Delight laid out its zero waste goal in its Inaugural Sustainability Report published in mid-2009. The company hoped to reach the goal by 2013, but has already achieved the goal at all six of manufacturing sites." Story at GreenBiz.

The Princeton Review's Guide To 286 Green Colleges.reliability high.
"This free online resource lists the nearly 300 U.S. colleges and universities that scored in the 80 percentile or better in The Princeton Review's Green Ratings. Compiled by The Princeton Review in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, the guide details the green attributes of colleges and universities whose curriculum, facilities, operations and administration demonstrate 'an exceptional commitment to sustainability,' according to Princeton Review Senior Vice President and Publisher Robert Franek." Story at GreenBiz. Access report here.

Science and Economics

Once-hidden EU report reveals damage from biodiesel.reliability high.
"Biofuels such as biodiesel from soy beans can create up to four times more climate-warming emissions than standard diesel or petrol, according to an EU document released under freedom of information laws." Some more details of report results. See AlertNet.

Study: Cow feed may be causing Valley air problem.reliability high.
"University of California, Davis researchers, however, found that the bigger ozone culprit appears to be millions of tons of fermenting cattle feed. This previously unrecognized source is likely the reason why ozone levels have not dropped even as the region has implemented control programs, scientists said. ... When tests on animal waste failed to find as much ozone as expected, researchers turned their attention to the silage — giant mixes of corn, alfalfa, almond shells and corn stalks that's piled to ferment under black plastic. The alcohol-drenched concoction is scooped with tractors and dumped into dairy cow feed troughs. Researchers found that the gases emitted during the fermentation react in the atmosphere to turn oxygen into ozone." Story at Yahoo from AP. Abstract here. [How do you store seasonally available feedstuffs to feed cattle throughout the year? You put it in a pile or traditional silo and let it ferment anaerobically. It bacteria make lactic and propionic acids with preserves the silage. Just like sauerkraut. But apparently when you have millions of tons of silage fermenting some air pollution results.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]