EcoTuesday Categories

Influential Women in Cleantech: Top 10 fighting for the Environment in our Governments

View Lisa Ann Pinkerton's profile
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It’s easy to forget sometimes that most governments are designed to move slowly and methodically, as to help maintain an equilibrium in society.  However, in the face of increasing signs of climate change, this slow pace can be thoroughly frustrating.  Whether your government’s reactions to global warming have made you wallow or feel uncharacteristically violent, often focusing on the good that is going on can help ease the tensions of what you think “should” be happening.  In this edition we’ll focus on women in the government positions who are working tirelessly to protect

Greenwashing Gets Sophisticated

View Fenja Blobel's profile
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This month at San Francisco EcoTuesday we are very excited to have Linda Brown, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of SCS Global Services, speak. SCS Global Services has been working since the 80’s to promote sustainability by providing third party certification services in environmental performance and social responsibility, auditing, testing and standards development.  SCS was launched long before sustainability became fashionable, much less a top priority, for companies.

 

Greenwashing Gets Sophisticated” is the title of her presentation this month.  Throughout the evening, she will point out that environmental and sustainable claims are not always what they are cracked up to be, and discuss the importance of educating ourselves about this issue to appropriately weed out the hype. 


She’s in a good position to know.  SCS launched its third party certification programs in response to greenwashing and has remained a staunch defender of legitimate green claims ever since.

 

What is a “third-party” certifier? Third-party certifiers are neutral organizations that verify claims on behalf of manufacturers, retailers, public agencies, NGOs and other entities.  By contrast, “first parties” are the companies themselves, while “second parties” are other interested parties, such as industry trade associations.  A legitimate third-party certifier provides scientific, non-biased assessment, with an emphasis on transparency in order to build awareness and support informed product comparisons. 


SCS currently conducts certifications under 16 internationally recognized accreditations including green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retailing and more. These certifications range in complexity from specific claims such as recycled content to complex sustainability and life cycle assessment based claims.  Here is a quick primer on the types of claims that fall under this certification umbrella:

 

Single attribute environmental claims are simple, straightforward claims about one attribute of a product. For example, SCS’s Indoor Air Quality certifications look at the emissions of products like furniture, flooring, or carpet and verify that the emission factors pass the indoor air quality requirements of California Section 01350.  Multi-attribute claims are claims about a broad set of attributes, for instance, a group of environmental, health and social measures. The “level” certification program, developed by the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) for furniture, is an example.  The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for responsibly managed wood is another.

 

Life-cycle assessments approach the issue of environmental performance differently. They look at and measure the entire scope of impacts associated with a product, process or service. Ideally, these results can be compared among product options to facilitate educated decisions.

 

SCS’s environmental and social mission is reflected in the company itself.  For instance, in January of this year, SCS was one of the first corporations in California to become a California Benefit Corporation under the recently enacted AB 361 legislation, along with Patagonia and 10 other California companies.  SCS is additionally a Certified B Corporation. B Corporations conduct business for the benefit of the people and the environment. They engage stakeholders to ensure corporate accountability and transparency by meeting higher legal accountability standards. They also meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards.

 

To learn more about the environmental claims and greewashing, the challenges of third-party certification, and the importance of transparency, join us at EEFG at 6:30pm on Tuesday July 24th. Register here!

Please note, I am an employee of SCS Global Services but have made this article as objective as possible.

Healthy Teeth Equals Healthy Living

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We're happy to showcase Green Dentistry during the June and July EcoTuesday events in San Francisco. 

 

Green Dentistry is a truly revolutionary dental practice. Its founder, Dr. Nammy Patel, is the first dentist to make a serious commitment to green, sustainable business practices in the City. She and her staff take a unique approach to combine dentistry and conserve the environment, using non-toxicproducts, reducing waste and being minimally invasive. The team strives to save all types of energy in its daily practice and reduce the office's carbon footprint. Green Dentistry is the first LEED certified dental office in San Francisco and is located in Union Square.

 

As a dental client, the experience of visiting Green Dentistry is unlike any other dental experience around. The office is warm and inviting, the technology state-of-the-art, and the "perks," such as the heated lavender neck pillow make going to this dentist truly enjoyable.

 

In addition to her dental practice, Dr. Patel serves on the Board of the Green Chamber of Commerce and is an Enviro-mentor for the San Francisco Environment Agency, which helps small businesses become green. She is also the creator and founder of Whole Fusion, an almond butter spread that's healthy and delicious. Next month we'll share more about this aspect of her business - stay tuned!

 

Dr. Patel and her staff will be at this week's EcoTuesday at Yoshi's and you can meet her in person to ask questions. We look forward to seeing you there - please register beforehand so we know you're coming!

Learn the ABC's of Effective Green Marketing at Our Next SF EcoTuesday Event

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Are you an entrepreneur looking to make an impact? Do you have a product or service that will revolutionize the green market? Learn how to market to your key demographic by attending our upcoming EcoTuesday event on March 27th.

 

This month we are very excited to have Carolyn Parrs join us this month. Carolyn is co-founder of Mind Over Markets, a dedicated green marketing communications company who works one-on-one with entrepreneurs and executives internationally to succeed in the growing green market. Carolyn is a featured author on Green Marketing in the Thomson Reuters book series for C-level executives called Inside the Minds: Greening your Business.

 

Although every month EcoTuesday attendees learn something new from our speakers, this month is unique because attendees will have an opportunity to bounce ideas off a certified Marketing and Business Coach without the high price tag.

 

This will be a wonderful opportunity to network with other sustainability leaders in a beautiful intimate setting. Whether you come to EcoTuesday to market your business or yourself, this is one event not to be missed.

 

A sustainable showroom, wonderful drinks from our sponsors, and amazing opportunity to learn how to launch your business to the next level. What more could you ask for?

Register now: http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-EcoTuesday/events/55265692/

 

$10 with online RSVP, $15 at the door.

Veriflora Certified Sustainably Grown Plants and Flowers at the Opportunity Green Conference

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flowersVeriflora®, one of this year's Opportunity Green Conference sponsors, is a leading sustainable agricultural certification and eco-labeling program recognized as the gold-standard in the floriculture and horticulture industries. Most of the flowers around the conference as well as the long stem roses that were given out during Thursday evening's party were Veriflora certified.

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Veriflora<!--[endif]-->® certified growers who participated include California Pajarosa, www.pajarosa.com; Resendiz Bros., www.resendizbrothers.com; Green Valley Floral, www.greenvalleyfloral.com; and F & B  Farms and Nursery, www.fandbfarms.com.

 

Veriflora certifies cut flowers, potted plants, improved input devices, and peat moss products through its ‘Responsibly Managed’ peatlands annex.  The multiple attributes of sustainability addressed by the Veriflora certification (for more information click here) include:

1. Environmental Sustainability 

Sustainable Crop Production

Resource Conservation and Energy Efficiency

Ecosystem Protection

Integrated Waste Management       

 

2. Social & Economic Sustainability

Fair Labor Practices

Community Benefits

 

3. Product Integrity

 Product Quality

Product Safety

 

If you want to know where to buy Veriflora certified fresh cut flowers or potted plants, go to the Preferred Retailer Program page on the Veriflora website.

Call for Applications: Acterra’s 2012 Business Environmental Awards

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November's speaker in Silicon Valley was Adriane Erickson from Acterra. If you missed the networking event last week, you still have a chance to apply for Acterra’s Environmental Awards, see below for more details.


Applications for Acterra’s 2012 Business Environmental Awards are now available - click here.  

 

This year’s categories are: Environmental Project, Environmental Innovation, Sustainable Built Environment, and the Acterra Award for Sustainability. 


Any business, municipality or organization located in the following counties is eligible to apply: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz County. Non-profits may also apply if environmental work is not their central mission. 


The deadline to apply is Friday, December 9, 2011. For more information, please contact awards@acterra.org

People for Bikes at Opportunity Green Conference

View Fenja Blobel's profile
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Family bikingFrom speakers to sponsors to attendees, this year’s Opportunity Green Conference had many visionaries that spanned the green economy. One particular booth that I loved was peopleforbikes.org. People for Bikes, a non-profit focused on promoting biking across the nation. Many of our cities in the US need to incorporate bike lanes into their city planning.

 

Why do we ride? A few interesting facts from the People for Bikes’ website: 

47% of Americans would like to see more bike lanes, trails, and bridges in their communities.

  • I personally would love to see the Bay Bridge not only create a bike lane from the East Bay to Treasure Island but also from Treasure Island to San Francisco. How many people travel across by foot or by pedal on the Golden Gate Bridge a day? How wonderful would it be if the Bay Bridge would be accessible by foot or by pedal? 

1 pound of CO2 pollution cut for every mile pedaled. 

50% of trips Americans make are less than 3 miles.

  • How wonderful if you could get your exercise while commuting! 

$8,000 spent on average each year owing and operating a car.

3 hours of riding per week reduces the risk of hear disease & stroke by 50%.

$10 saved each day by commuting 10 miles round trip by bicycle instead of car.

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This year’s conference theme of Accelerate fits perfectly with this non-profit.  “We chose the theme ‘Accelerate’ for this year’s conference because the successes that have gotten sustainably-minded people and companies to where we are today accelerates and offers the momentum to drive to an even better future.”

The goals of People for Bikes align well with the goals of green acceleration.

People for Bikes:

One for all: Build a national movement to improve bicycling in our country.

Opportunity Green:

We facilitate the movement to transform business for good, through advancing change and market transformation by providing open-minded professional unprecedented approaches to sustainability.

People for Bikes:

Let our voices be heard: Every six years, the federal government allocates billions of dollars to expand and improve our country’s transportation infrastructure.  We must improve our bike infrastructure to have the healthy planet everyone dreams of.

Opportunity Green:

Because we have the unique opportunity to do good for our world and our business simultaneously. Now is the time when our leadership is most needed, and will have the most impact on the future of our organization and communities.           


We must Accelerate the use of biking in order to have the future we all wish for.

 

Power to the Pedal People.

Accelerate At The Opportunity Green Conference This Week

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This week on November 10th and 11th, I will be representing EcoTuesday by attending the Opportunity Green Conference in Los Angeles. This is a wonderful conference that happens yearly with visionaries attending from the green economy. Go to the Opportunity Green website for more information.


This year’s theme of Accelerate fits perfectly with the current momentum of the green economy. We must continue this acceleration in order to have the amount of positive change we need in this world.


Personally, I am especially energized to listen to Conde Nast 2011 Designer of the Year, Yves Behar speak about Redefining Design. Founder and Chief Designer of fuseprojects, Behar has lead many inspiring projects including One Labtop per Child, underwear designed with compostable packaging, “See Better to Learn Better” and many more. Redefining the way we design products incorporating sustainability in every step of the way is the design of today.

Green Education, Green Jobs, and You

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What's the value of a green education in getting a green job? Here's your chance to find out!

 

The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Project Management Institute has been holding a series of 3-hour interactive Green Project Management seminars on topics like sustainability at major corporations, case studies on green projects, and even fusion energy. For more, see the PMI SF Bay Area green blog.

 

Our November seminar, on Saturday the 19th, will cover the importance of green education in getting a green job. It’s crucial for project managers to be familiar with current legislation and how it affects the overall supply chain. As we move toward stricter standards and globalization of products and services, we must be informed about how products are harvested, manufactured, and distributed throughout the globe. Kelle McMahon, CEO of the Green Science Academy, will show us how the landscape of the job market has changed, making project management skills even more valuable -- in fact, vital -- in today’s job market. She will explain how the skills she developed as a project manager helped her build a company that supports the triple bottom line: people, planet, and sustainable profits. Moreover, she will explore how you can transfer your skills to a job in a green industry, as well as showing how green education will differentiate you from other professionals in the marketplace. If you’re thinking of moving into a green job, this workshop will be perfect for you.

 

To register, go to the PMI registration page

 

Seminar Series - Details

The Green Project Management Seminar Series is co-sponsored by Keller Graduate School and the Project Management Institute San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. The seminars are held on the third Saturday of each month from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon PDT, at Keller Graduate School’s Daly City location. For details and registration information, click here.

EcoTuesday Pitch Night

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This month San Francisco EcoTuesday was a little different. The night started with an emerald green jar full of business cards in which we randomly selected 10.  Instead of having one main presenter, we opened up the mic for 10 participants to present a 2 minute pitch of their company, organization or initiative to the group. 

 

It was exciting to hear more in-depth what some of the EcoTuesday members are working on. If you didn't make it out, or if you want a re-cap, you'll find a list of who and what was presented along with websites to each company and organization below... 

 

Mike Trenary of Reboot Our Schools which is "A non-profit dedicated to providing public schools with refurbished technology donations - and creating sustainable processes for maintaining those resources.  


Jonathan Mooney of Skip To Renew, a bio-based lubricants company. Their first product is a first of its kind, Re:cyclist Bike Chain Lube with other bio-degradable lubricants in development.

 

Todd Cooper of Waxelene -- Which is a natural & organic petroleum jelly alternative, which I was fortunate to get a sample of and am loving it.

 

Chris Murphy of  Zoom Forth which is a unique online job search which based on your skills, interest and work preferences, will match you with informational video interviews from a database of thousands to help guide your career decisions. 

 

Allen Price of Tresendas  which is a social network for people who travel. Tresendas lets you build a network of your closest friends and the close friends of your friends so you have an expanded network of people you can trust for travel recommendations and housing all across the world.

 

Lindsey Herrema, one of 5 co-founders of The Can Van, presented on behalf of her and 4 other Green MBA Grads from the Presidio Graduate School. The Can Van is a mobile beer canning service which will make getting canned beer more accessible to NorCal craft breweries. 

 

Josh Atlas of the Eight Fold Group, which is a social commerce agency that facilitates access for conscientious consumers to the sustainable products and services they want and need.


Heidi Smith of Carbon Flow, which "provides an integrated suite of software applications used by organizations worldwide to manage, monitor, and monetize their emission reduction and sustainable energy projects."


Ken Jacobus of Good Start Packaging, which provides environmentally friendly alternatives to disposable plastics "with a mission to reduce the massive amounts of single-use plastic clogging our landfills, waterways, highways, and forests."


Libby Klitsch of Tuvalu Design, which helps businesses and organizations through strategic design to reveal their sustainable practices, products and services to the world.

 

EcoTuesday continues to attract great people doing great work in the world, and it is always inspiring to hear what everyone is up to. The evening ended with our usual networking portion which is a great place to look for a job or that missing link for your project, whether that be a developer, project manager, an idea or just a boost of inspiration you're needing. 

 

I look forward to the next event which will be on October 25th (a Tuesday of course to maintain the continuity of the EcoTuesday name) : ) Location and presenter to be announced soon. 

 

Until then, keep living and greening the dream! 

A Green MBA Success Story: The Penny Ice Creamery

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The Penny Ice Creamery, located in downtown Santa Cruz, is one of the many businesses that have made a huge impact on a local economy and launched by a Green MBA graduate. 

 

The owners and creative visionaries, Kendra L. Baker and Zachary E. Davis, use sustainably grown local ingredients, such as wild fruits, vegetable, herbs, and even flowers to bring ice cream lovers new flavors with each season. A recent Yelp reviewer states, "Some of the best ice cream in Santa Cruz. The flavors here are very strange, so be open! You can still get a lot of the classics, too." There are reports that there are often lines out the door on nice, sunny days. 

 

Davis is an alum of the Green MBA and the business plan for The Penny Ice Creamery was his Capstone project before completing the program in 2009. He and Baker secured a loan through the Small Business Administration, funded by federal stimulus funds. Davis had a very unique idea: to thank Obama for the loan with a "THANK YOU" video (it's fun to watch!) instead of a card (his mom must have been proud!). In it, Baker and Davis shared how the loan made it possible to contribute to the local economy through creating jobs and buying goods from other local businesses (when they opened their shop, they hired 11 employees and worked with 20 local businesses). The video got the attention of those at The Huffington Post and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, and was soon after "retweeted" by The White House. 

 

In what came as a complete surprise, in November 2009, Vice President Joe Biden called Davis to thank him for creating the video and recognizing the Administration for the stimulus package. What was even more thrilling was a call the following January, when the pair was invited to sit in Michelle Obama's chamber during the State of the Union address to the nation.

 

The journey to Washington DC seems like an incredibly fantastic event to take place during the infancy of a local business! The Penny Ice Creamery is a clear example of the types of companies that are born during (and after) a student's time at the Green MBA. While a trip to Washington DC wasn't a part of Davis' Capstone plan, the entire Green MBA curriculum is designed to support business professionals reach their goals.

 

Please join us on Tuesday, October 25 in San Francisco for a great speaker and the opportunity to talk directly with Green MBA grads! Register soon and see you there!

 


 

 

Participants “Pitch” Night

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Are you looking to promote your new startup, attract possible funders, or spread the word on a new initiative? If so we invite you to attend “pitch” night on September 27th.

 

This month we will be hosting a very special EcoTuesday event where we open the floor to 10 lucky participants to “pitch” their organization. Each person will be randomly selected (via a business card entry) and given 3 minutes to "pitch" their company or initiative.

 

Given that EcoTuesday is known to attract many sustainable business leaders from all over the Bay Area this will be a great opportunity to promote your company while receiving useful feedback.

 

Additionally, this event will be held at one of SF’s premier green nightclubs, Temple. Who’s vision is ‘to create an eco-concious’ ‘edu-tainment’ complex that works synergistically with all of the entities of the Zen Compound to inspire and work with the community to take on the most challenging issues facing San Francisco and our planet... and have a good time doing it!”

 

Plus, one lucky person will be taking home a very special raffle prize at the end of the evening!

 

As you can see this will be a night full of exciting opportunities so don’t miss it. Tickets are selling quickly so please RSVP as soon as possible!

 

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 27th.

Community & Stakeholder Engagement: Your Key to Success

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Your customers, investors, employees, investors, community, suppliers, and family.

This is just a short list of the many types of stakeholders that support your company. All stakeholders are important for the progress and prosperity of a business.

 

Strategic employee engagement is the most effective way to foster successful economic, environmental and social initiatives in a company. Employees are learning more about best practices around sustainability, which in turn helps to save the company money. Companies can support these new ideas to spur innovation that will have a ripple effect with the other stakeholders. When a company focuses attention on the employee stakeholder group, it thrives. 


On Wednesday, September 21, I will be participating in a roundtable discussion entitled, "Community and Stakeholder Engagement: A Sustainable Approach" and will be joined by representatives from B Corporation, The Green Chamber of Commerce, and the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence. We will discuss communities, renewable energy, stakeholder groups, and more. 


The event takes place at the Hotel Palomar from 6:30-8:30. The cost is $30 and food/drink is provided. The first ten people to sign up for the roundtable will gain free entry to EcoTuesday in SF, so register today!


During the roundtable, I will focus on the following: 


Employee Engagement Through Building A Green Team: Your Key To Sustainability

  • Your employees as important stakeholders
  • Tips you can use to get employees enrolled in your company's sustainability intitiatives
  • How strategic initiatives increases motivation and productivity

Please join us this month in cities across the country to meet new business contacts and friends. Our event this month will take place on Tuesday, September 27. We encourage you to register beforehand so that we know you'll be joining us. In San Francisco ten people will have the opportunity to quickly share their "elevator pitch" about their company in supportive environment! We hope to see you at an EcoTuesday this month.


By the way, our November event will be held a week earlier, on November 15. We will not be hosting a December event.

Women in Sustainability

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Over the past few years, women have made great strides in all areas of sustainability. For example, women hold key positions in large solar companies, are driving sustainability initiatives in Fortune 500 companies, and have started businesses that have greatly impacted the food industry.

There's still so much more to accomplish!

Learn From Award Winning Creative Agency: Free Range Studios

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San Francisco EcoTuesday will feature Erica Priggen, Executive Producer at Free Range Studios this coming Tuesday. Please join us to learn from a Bay Area award winning creative agency working towards building a more just and sustainable world.

As the head of Free Range's video and entertainment department, Erica Priggen oversees the creative and strategic development of all of the company's video campaigns. With a Master's in Consciousness Studies, she brings a deep study of sustainability and systems thinking to her work, with a concentration on the importance of storytelling and mythology as tools for cultural transformation. Erica is the producer of Free Range's award-winning The Story of Stuff, as well as other hits such as 350.org, The Good Life, the Alliance for Climate Education's national high school assembly program, and the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop video series.

The mission of Free Range Studios is to enable their clients to communicate key messages and empower individuals to transform society through the innovative use of digital media, storytelling, graphic design and strategy. They amplify the impact of their work by inspiring others through values-driven business practices.

In addition to having Erica lined up as our fabulous speaker this month, we've got a great venue for networking. We are being generously hosted by Adobe at their San Francisco office located at 601 Townsend. This building is the oldest LEED-certified platinum green building in the world and we'll get a chance to hear a few words from the Adobe Green Team. Plus, both Honest Tea and San Francisco's Haamonii Shochu will be there to pour teas and tea-shochu cocktails.

We get started at 6:30, come join us for some great networking, introduce yourself to a room of professionals, and to learn something new!

RSVP here, $5 online or $10 at the door.