May 31, 2009

Van Jones on Energy Efficiency Investments

This is a really great presentation on the value of investing in energy efficiency.

Van Jones steps on stage at 6:30 minutes. He has a few introductory remarks and then starts the main part of his talk at 9:45 minutes in this video. Starting at about 12:00 minutes he is absolutely superb.

He contrasts the sexy dollars spent on renewable energy with what he calls the "humble hard working energy efficiency dollars"

He talks about how a humble hard working dollar invested in energy efficiency does many things.

That energy efficiency dollar creates jobs, cuts unemployment and poverty.

That same dollar lowers a homeowner's energy bill by as much as 30%,

That same dollar lowers the aggregate demand for energy, and if we upgrade enough homes, that work will lower the overall price for energy,

That same dollar reduces green house gases, reduces pollution, which results in less asthma,

That same dollar makes the homeowner's home more valuable, because a drafty home is worth less than a well insulated home,

That same dollar invested in energy efficiency pays for itself in 2 to 4 years – we are now recycling dollars, we are now creating new dollars,

That's what happens when you invest a dollar in energy efficiency.

Very inspiring.

His presentation concludes at 19:40

May 30, 2009

Europe to Outperform Kyoto Goals

Stavros Dimas, the European Union’s environment commissioner, said on Friday that E.U. nations covered by the Kyoto climate treaty were on track to exceed a collective goal to slash emissions by 8 percent by 2012 compared with 1990 levels.

“We are sure that we are going to overshoot” the target, Mr. Dimas told a press conference in Brussels. The results showed a third consecutive year of declines and was further evidence that Europe was successfully decoupling its economic growth from emissions growth, he said.

However, "Mr. Dimas acknowledged that much of the drop in 2007 was attributable to favorable weather conditions...." "That [Emissions Trading] system showed a sharp drop in emissions last year compared with 2007 – largely because of the economic downturn. On the one hand, EU countries have been "decoupling its economic growth from emissions growth" by participating in Kyoto, with progressive tax policies, and their cap and trade system. On the other hand, however, until this year it seemed that these policies alone were not going to lead to fulfilling Kyoto goals and nobody seemed to care either. Ironically, now it seems that they will "overshoot the target".

Timberland's Green CEO

I found this interview with Jeffrey Swartz, CEO of Timberland unusually inspiring coming from someone who is saying it is really, really hard being a green CEO.

Under Jeff’s guidance, Timberland has grown from a $156 million company in 1989 to a $1.4 billion company in 2007.

In this interview, Jeff shares candid thoughts, successes and challenges of infusing a business with values - the values stemming from three generations of family leadership at Timberland. You’ll be inspired to re-think what impact it’s possible to achieve through your business.


  • Jeff Swartz expounds on “selling values” (Timberland) versus “selling sex” (other clothing retailers)
  • Timberland’s Facebook campaign which mobilized thousands to action
  • How Timberland creates positive impact in the communities and countries where its products are produced
  • Is Timberland is more like Bono or Al Gore in creating messages for consumers?

May 24, 2009

Asia leading US in Green Investments

China has provided an answer for those in the US who say we shouldn't invest in green technology until China does as well.

In Asia, China is investing $220 billion of its economic stimulus package in green programs—over 3 percent of its total gross domestic product of $4.4 trillion. South Korea is investing 1.2 percent of its total GDP, or about $30 billion, into new green strategies to drive their own economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the United States is investing less than one half of 1 percent of our GDP on clean-energy stimulus programs.