05 May 2010

Green marketing works, Cisco tops Google, sustainability "megatrend", and other latest company, industry and government news

Top Stories

The Sustainability Imperative.reliability high.
Sustainability is a "megatrend" influencing business, like the cold war, electrification, the rise of mass production, IT, globalization and the quality movement. "Our research into the forces that have shaped the competitive landscape in recent decades reveals that 'business megatrends' have features and trajectories in common. Sustainability is an emerging megatrend, and thus its course is to some extent predictable. Understanding how firms won in prior megatrends can help executives craft the strategies and systems they'll need to gain advantage in this one." Article in The Harvard Business Review.

Green Marketing: What Works; What Doesn't - A Marketing Study of Practitioners.reliability high.
Highlights of commercial report. "80% expect to spend more on green marketing, 4 times as many marketers said green marketing was more effective than those who said it was less effective, The internet was both the most popular medium employed, and also the one that marketers found the most effective, Nearly half said decision-makers hold green marketing in high regard" Environmental Leader site. PDF of executive summary here. [The executive summary has a lot of interesting information and is definitely worth a read.]

States prepare to rise to CO2 challenge as Senate climate bill collapses.reliability high.
"The collapse of an energy reform proposal in Congress last week could return power to north America's historic actors on climate change: the regions. ... Though Washington and Ottawa have yet to pass cap-and-trade legislation, 23 US states and four Canadian provinces have already put a price on carbon. Between them, the carbon cutting regimes will eventually cover half of America's population and about a third of its emissions and about three-quarters of Canada's population and half of its emissions." Examples of actions of specific states and provinces. Story in The Guardian.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

China is parlaying its hunger for power into yet more economic clout.reliability high.
"China’s endless power-plant construction boom has accounted for 80% of the world’s new generating capacity in recent years and will continue to do so for many years to come, says Edwin Chen of Credit Suisse, an investment bank. Capacity added this year alone will exceed the installed total of Brazil, Italy and Britain, and come close to that of Germany and France. ... The huge expansion of generating capacity serves many purposes, not least of which is bolstering national pride, especially in rural areas that, not long ago, were consigned to darkness after sundown. Officials are also aware that China’s abundant power helps attract investors who are leery of the flickering industrialisation of other emerging markets. ... Cheap power has fuelled the expansion of energy-intensive heavy industries, such as steelmaking and aluminium smelting, which have made China more dependent on electricity than any other big economy." More on Chinese energy policy and its consequences. See The Economist.

Asian Development Bank Announces $9B Solar Energy Initiative.reliability high.
"The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday announced a solar energy initiative that aims to inject $9 billion into the regional market and generate some 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power over the next three years. ADB plans to provide $2.25 billion in finance to the Asia Solar Energy Initiative (ASEI), which is expected to leverage an additional $6.75 billion from the private sector and regional governments." See Sustainable Business.

Pricing for Utility Green Power Continues to Fall.reliability high.
"Edmond Electric, OG&E Company, Avista Utilities, Park Electric Cooperative and Arizona Public Service offer the lowest price premiums for renewable energy, according to the annual assessment of leading utility green power programs by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Price premiums range from -0.17 cents/kWh to 0.80 cents/kWh. NREL analysts report that the rate premium that customers pay for green power continues to drop. The average net price premium for utility green power products has decreased from 3.48 cents/kWh in 2000 to 1.75 cents/kWh in 2009." Story in Environmental Leader. [Some utility is charging less for renewably generated electricity than for "ordinary" electricity?]

Greenpeace lauds Cisco on climate, chides Google.reliability high.
"The environmental watchdog group released its annual Cool IT Leaderboard on Thursday, which judges large IT and consumer electronics companies on a range of criteria related to climate change, including efforts to lower their environmental footprints and commercial efforts in energy and efficiency. This year, Greenpeace placed Cisco at the top of the list because of its move into building energy management and the smart grid, technologies that can boost renewable energy use and efficiency. Ericsson and Fujitsu scored well for developing methods for measuring the environmental impact of IT and for setting credible carbon reduction estimates for its customers." From CNET News. Access report here.

Government and Regulation

EPA Announces Plans to Regulate Coal Ash.reliability high.
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is proposing the first-ever national rules to ensure the safe disposal and management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants. ... Today’s action will ensure for the first time that protective controls, such as liners and groundwater monitoring, are in place at new landfills to protect groundwater and human health. Existing surface impoundments will also require liners, with strong incentives to close the impoundments and transition to safer landfills, which store coal ash in dry form. ...  Today’s action also will promote environmentally safe and desirable forms of recycling coal ash, known as beneficial uses." See EPA site. [The EPA is really making up for lost time in establishing environmental regulations.]

500 cities pledge to reduce CO2 by more than 20%.reliability high.
"More than 500 European mayors will commit today (May 4) to cut CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2020. ... By signing the Covenant of Mayors, they pledge to save energy, foster renewable energy and raise awareness among their citizens." From edie.net.

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