23 August 2010

Green MBA programs, EV news, Climate Counts Scorecard and other sustainability news

Top Stories

Rising Seas Could Dampen Aussie Coastal Building.reliability high.
"The state government of New South Wales (NSW) just released new planning guidelines that discourage development in some coastal zones due to sea level rise caused by climate change. The NSW Coastal Planning Guidelines aim to help local councils prepare for sea level rise adaptation in a country that is already feeling the effects from climate change." See Greener World Media. [It is hopeless to try to defend coastal development against the effects of rising sea levels, no matter how much is spent. So development on exposed coastal land has to be discouraged today. Once it is built the public purse will be drained for decades to come "defending" it.]

Study: U.S. to take lead in EV race, China not far behind.reliability medium.
"By factoring in all nine variables, McKinsey concludes that the U.S. will initially lead the EV race, but China and Germany are just slightly behind. The initial U.S. lead could be short-lived, since McKinsey & Co. thinks China could emerge as the leading electric car market within 20 years." From Autoblog Green.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Resource wars: the global crisis behind BHP Billiton's bid for Potash Corp.reliability high.
"behind the rhetoric is a bidding war that lays bare the global struggle for resources on a planet struggling with water and food  shortages, overpopulation and pollution. And it highlights a question that overshadows the 21st century: how to provide enough food for a global population that is set to rise from 6.8 billion to more than 9 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations. ... it's a major bet that rising food demand will cause a significant growth in the use of the fertiliser." See article at The Guardian.

New Guide Spotlights Expanding Roster of Green MBA Programs.reliability high.
More and more schools and students are interested in "green" degrees. "This is evident in a new guide from Net Impact, the network of students and professionals promoting corporate social responsibility. The group's latest digest profiling Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs covers more than twice as many universities as its first iteration in 2006, boding well for students navigating this growing field of sustainability curricula." See GreenBiz. Download the guide here.

Smith Electric Vehicles Revs for Acquisition, IPO.reliability high.
"This week, Tanfield — which makes aerial work platforms and electric vehicles for the commercial sector — reported a return to growth in its electric vehicle division, driven mainly by 'new markets outside of the UK.' ... If and when a new plan goes through for Smith U.S. to buy Tanfield’s British electric vehicle unit, Smith Electric Vehicles UK (SEV UK), and launch an initial public offering, Tanfield expects to generate cash from the deal and get a kick-start to improve its finances." From The GigaOM Network. [A business rescued by its EV division?]

GM readies for gas price hike with plans for efficient models in every brand.reliability medium.
"General Motors has grand plans to launch several new models that are aimed at supplying the company with at least one efficient model for each of its core brands within the next three years. ... According to a report in Automotive News ..., which cites sources within GM, execs within The General firmly believe that gas prices will eventually rise above that $4 mark reached back in 2008 and they want to be prepared for the looming increase that will send buyers scurrying to swoop up more fuel-efficient models." See Autoblog Green.

AstraZeneca Tops Climate Counts Scorecard among Four Sectors.reliability high.
"The latest Climate Counts scorecard, an updated evaluation of 47 of the top companies in the pharmaceutical, home and office furnishing, toys and children’s equipment and large appliance sectors, shows that companies continue to improve their climate commitment, but their pace is far slower than what is required to meet the climate challenge, says the nonprofit group. ... The companies are scored based on 22 criteria that measure companies’ efforts to assess their own climate footprint, reduce their emissions, support (or block) progress on major climate legislation, and communicate their efforts to consumers". See Environmental Leader. Access Climate Counts scorecard here.

Government and Regulation

New Jersey Calls for 1100 MW of Offshore Wind.reliability high.
"New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act ... The bill directs the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to develop an offshore renewable energy certificate program (OREC) that calls for a percentage of electricity sold in the state to be from offshore wind energy. This percentage support the development of at least 1,100 megawatts of generation from offshore wind projects, according to the announcement from the office of the governor." See Renewable Energy World.

NYC Mayor Wants Massive Bike-Sharing Program.reliability medium.
About "a proposal by Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. 'The New York City bike share proposal would begin with 10,500 bikes, and quickly expand to 49,000 two-wheelers. [...] For all the complaints about rogue bike riders, the city says the dramatic reshaping of roads to accommodate riders is calming traffic. "We are doing everything we can to design safer, better-performing streets," NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.' " From TreeHugger.