12 July 2010

Social funds stuck with oil, air conditioning India, how much sustainability managers make and other green news

Top Stories

The Truth About Sustainability Compensation.reliability medium.
A CSR recruiter gives facts and figures about compensation levels for corporate sustainability professionals. "The assumption that sustainability professionals earn less than other comparable positions is false if you hold all the factors listed above constant. ... A CSR professional is likely to earn a similar salary to those working in the same department for which sustainability falls.  In other words, if the CSR Director sits within Public Affairs, their salary will be similar to their parallel level colleagues in Public Affairs." From GreenBiz blog. [Thus compensation depends on where the corporation thinks sustainability belongs. HaraBara notes that some companies put sustainability managers in PR or communications, some in EHS, some report through facilities management, others are C-level positions. Companies are still sorting this out, and envision different roles, and thus different pay, for key sustainability managers.]

Lloyd's adds its voice to dire 'peak oil' warnings.reliability high.
"The Lloyd's insurance market and the highly regarded Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS, known as Chatham House) says Britain needs to be ready for "peak oil" and disrupted energy supplies at a time of soaring fuel demand in China and India, constraints on production caused by the BP oil spill and political moves to cut CO2 to halt global warming. "Companies which are able to take advantage of this new energy reality will increase both their resilience and competitiveness. Failure to do so could lead to expensive and potentially catastrophic consequences," says the Lloyd's and ISS report "Sustainable energy security: strategic risks and opportunities for business"." See The Guardian story. Access the report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Five forces driving corporate sustainability management.reliability medium.
Comment piece lists driving forces. "With a nod to McKinsey's research on how global forces will drive business strategy over the next five years, this article explores five forces which will shape the management of corporate sustainability in all businesses by 2015. There is now a choice facing businesses: they can try to understand what these forces mean for their organisation, or try and fight these market changes that we are already experiencing." Forces include brand competition, risk disclosure, etc. See BusinessGreen.

Indians switch to high-priced, power-efficient air conditioners.reliability high.
Indian consumers have started upgrading to higher priced, but less power consuming airconditioners to snip mounting electricity bills after the government made it mandatory for appliances to be rated on energy efficiency. ... Five star rated ACs or products with lowest power consumption accounted for a third of the total sales of brands such as LG, Samsung, Voltas, Carrier and Godrej in the first half of current year compared to just 5-10% in whole of 2009. ... Overall AC sales shot up over 50% in India during the first half of the year, boosted by prolonged summer and higher mercury levels in the country, say top consumer durable firms. Products with a two-to-three star rating that have average energy consumption, account for a majority of the sales as they are cheaper, attracting the first time buyers. See Economic Times story. [It sounds like average efficiency of new air conditioners is inching up, but total energy consumption by air conditioners is surging much faster. And of course air conditioning doesn't work at all during power cuts, which are common daily across most of India because generating capacity can't keep up with demand, even before all those new AC units.]

Social funds and BP: How embarrassing!reliability medium.
"When BP’s oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded on April 20, the company was a major holding of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index–which calls itself an index of 'the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.' BP was also held by Pax World Funds ('sustainable investing is a better smarter, way to invest'), by the MMA International Fund, which is part of a fund group that is 'guided by Christian values,' and by the Legg Mason Social Awareness Fund, which, as of March 31, had BP as its single biggest holding." More about the paradox of socially responsible investing and oil companies. From Marc Gunther's blog. [They screen out tobacco, weapons, and such but apparently offshore drilling is OK. One such fund was long on Transocean.]

Tesla formalizes Toyota deal, to deliver 2 cars.reliability high.
"Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc said on Friday it signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp to deliver two electric vehicles to the world's largest automaker by the end of month. ... The prototypes will combine Toyota vehicles with Tesla electric powertrains." From Reuters. [Toyota explores multiple options beyond NiCd.]

Government and Regulation

No more carpool lane perks for hybrids in California.reliability high.
Access to California diamond lanes for some hybrid vehicles with only one occupant will expire at the end of 2010. "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill yesterday that extends certain HOV-Lane Access stickers for four more years, the ones for hybrids aren't included. Instead, the extended stickers apply only to far less common green vehicles: Fully electric cars (including the Tesla Roadster and 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV), and those that run on natural gas (e.g. the Honda Civic GX) or hydrogen (a la the 2010 Honda FCX Clarity). ... That impending expiration caused howls of protest earlier this year by the 85,000 lucky hybrid owners. But hybrids‘ success may have worked against them: Hybrids of all models are now almost 3 percent of overall U.S. vehicle sales, but considerably more in California." Item at GreenBeat. [Incentives shouldn't become entitlements.]

Cap and Trade Could Weatherproof Maine.reliability high.
"MaineHousing had a goal to get every home and half the businesses in Maine weatherized within the next twenty years, but like most states, is starved for funds to help homeowners finance it. MaineHousing Director Dale McCormick may just have found the funds to to get it done. Putting weatherization credits on the cap and trade market. ... So Maine has, for the first time, begun the process to link home weatherization to carbon credits." From CleanTechnica.