EcoTuesday Categories

SF EcoTuesday: Innovative Design Panel W/InterfaceFLOR, Lifefactory & Autodesk

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At many of our EcoTuesday events our members become inspired about sustainability issues but it can be overwhelming to keep up the momentum. How can they make an difference while going on about their daily lives?

 

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!

Metrics: Unlock the Possibilities for a Sustainable Business

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In March 2011, San Francisco EcoTuesday was hosted at the Adobe office South of Market. Meera Ramanathan, Global Sustainability Manager with Cushman and Wakefield, which is Adobe’s facilities management firm, gave a short introduction of the wonderful sustainability initiatives Adobe has accomplished over the years. In the few minutes she spoke (prior to the speaker) were not enough to dive deeply into all of the initiatives that have been happening at Adobe.


San Francisco EcoTuesday is very excited to have Meera as the speaker this month. This time she will not only discuss Corporate Carbon Accounting and Adobe’s environmental goals, but also share about the numerous environmental initiative awards that Adobe and Cushman & Wakefield's have won recently.


Adobe has been at the forefront of the green building movement. Ten of Adobe’s building are LEED-Platinum certified and 5 from outside of the United States are pursuing LEED equivalent certification. Adobe’s newest goal is to achieve NetZero energy consumption by 2015 for their San Francisco, San Jose and Boston offices that account for 30% of Adobe’s total square footage. Measuring energy usage is the first step to accomplish this goal. Adobe monitors and collects energy usage information from 30,000 data points. Given this data, they look into ways to reduce the Energy Demand. They also produce renewable energy onsite. Last but not least, Adobe buys carbon credits to offset 100% of Scope 1 and 2 emissions.


The GHG Protocol categorizes emissions into three broad scopes:

Scope 1: All direct GHG emissions.

Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam.

Scope 3: Other indirect emissions, such as the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities in vehicles not owned or controlled by the reporting entity (employee business travel), electricity-related activities (e.g. T&D losses) not covered in Scope 2, outsourced activities, waste disposal, etc.

We look forward to hearing Meera speak next Tuesday, June 26th at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. Register today- there’s only one week left!

Algae - A Smart Replacement for Petroleum

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For the past few years I have been extremely interested in algae as an alternative to petroleum. I was a student at the Green MBA and my interest was first peaked by my then classmate and now CEO of Skip to Renew, Stig Westling. Stig’s company develops and produces sustainable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective industrial lubricants and greases.

 

This got me thinking - what other companies are out there and who is leading the pack in the biofuel market? My research led me to Riggs Eckelberry, the CEO and President of OriginOil. “OriginOil is proving its next-generation technology to greatly enhance algae biomass harvesting and oil extraction. This allows scalable industrialization to make algae a high-yield, cost-competitive replacement for petroleum.”

 

What is admirable about algae is that unlike many other biofuel alternatives is that it does not require farmland or fresh water therefore “fundamentally changing the world’s source of oil without disrupting the environment or food supplies”.

 

To say I am very excited about Riggs Eckelberry speaking at this month’s EcoTuesday on May 22nd would be a great understatement. I feel that the knowledge and expertise he can provide our members is invaluable. Not only has Riggs proved himself in the competitive tech market he has now undertaken this challenge in the world of alternative energy and proven to be successful.

 

Riggs Eckelberry has helped OriginOil become a publicly-traded technology firm that helps algae growers extract oil from Algae for use as a feedstock for the commercial production of transportation fuels, chemicals and foods. In January of 2011, Riggs Eckelberry was named to the Advisory Board of the National Algae Association. He speaks regularly on algae industry trends and writes the Algae Business column for Algae Industry Magazine.

 

I hope that as you read this you are as excited as I am and will attend what will surely be an amazing discussion about Algae as viable replacement for petroleum. Register today - there's only one week left!

Why are 26 Cities Green With Envy?

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Well in 2011, San Francisco took the title as the “greenest city in North America”. The study, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit studied the environmental performance and commitments by 27 major metro areas in the U.S. and Canada, and we won!

 This is greatly due to the efforts of this month’s guest speaker, Johanna Partin. Johanna serves as Director of Climate Protection Initiatives in the office of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, where she advises Mayor Lee on citywide sustainable energy, climate, transportation, green building and other programs promoting sustainability for San Francisco.

In addition to creating change in the mayor’s office Johanna has over 17 years' experience in the fields of renewable energy, microfinance, gender equity and sustainable development, and has worked both locally and in more than 15 countries around the world.

If you are interested in learning more about change starting at the local level and how you can help Johanna and the city of San Francisco keeps it title, come to our next EcoTuesday event January 24th at The W Hotel, SF.

To see what topics Johanna will be discussing and register for this very special event, click here.

Thank You 2011!

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Our last EcoTuesday SF was a great success. We had an amazing turn out and we learned a lot. Did you know that IT data centers are responsible for 2% of world emissions, yet they can positively impact the remaining 98% of emissions in the world?

 

Thank you to our wonderful brilliant speaker, Peter Perrault, from NetApp who was able to explain IT and its role within Sustainability so clearly that even non IT people like me were able to comprehend.

 

NetApp practices what they preach by “keeping their own house in order first” therefore they have worked hard to receive the first EPA Energy Star certification for a data center. Additionally, they understand that the People portion of People, Planet and Profit is equally as important and offer all their employees 40 paid hours to do community service in the local communities. Must be why they are ranked #5 by FORTUNE as one of the top 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2011(netapp.com).

 

I also want to say a big thank you to Shelly and John at CompoClay who helped us out tremendously with our last two events and have providedNovember Event such a welcoming place for all our EcoTuesday attendees.

 

And finally I would like to extend a warm Thank You to everyone that helped make EcoTuesday a success over the past year, we greatly appreciate your feedback and support and we look forward to an amazing 2012 with all of you!

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

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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.

Join Us For Our Last EcoTuesday of 2011!

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Living in the Bay Area we are the hub of technology, but how can technology help us become more sustainable? This month, we explore the unique opportunities that tech provides to us to  become more efficient and more environmentally responsible, all while saving a tremendous amounts of money.

 

November’s speaker, Peter Perrault from NetApp, better known as the “Green Giant” is well versed in how to overcome environmental challenges and turn them into real savings. In 2008, “PG&E presented NetApp with a rebate of $1.4 million under PG&E's Non-Residential New Construction Program, which encourages PG&E's commercial, industrial, high-technology, and agricultural customers to implement energy-efficient building and process design and construction” (Netapp.com).

 

Peter heads NetApp’s Global Sustainability Program and has extensive experience in sustainability and environmental economics. In addition to leading the way in green tech he also is the co-chair of the Environment Committee for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an advocacy organization working to ensure economic health and a high quality of life for the entire Silicon Valley community.

 

Come learn more about how IT can enable sustainability for the greater good at EcoTuesday SF, November 15th(one week early!).

 

Please RSVP  here.

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.

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! 

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.

The Power of One

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At the July EcoTuesday gathering in San Francisco, Sue Amar, Sustainability Officer at salesforce.com, referenced what Malcolm Gladwell calls the "law of the few" (aka the 80/20 principle), according to which 20% of the people will bring about 80% of the changes in the world. She's a prime example of this herself, having single-handedly started a robust sustainability program at salesforce.com.

 

While many companies have recently embraced sustainability, Sue explained how salesforce.com, with their commitment to the cloud, goes beyond the usual efforts to green the supply chain, travel, facilities, and other such areas. But beware: You may think you're already using the cloud, but not all clouds are created equal! The salesforce.com sustainability site delineates the differences:

  • On-premises cloud: Onsite hardware and software that must be bought, installed, and maintained.
  • Private (or "false") cloud: A cloud that's housed in a data center, uses virtualization technology, or is hosted -- and still requires hardware and software that must be bought, installed, and maintained.
  • 100% cloud: A cloud that uses "multitenant architecture" to allow sharing and economies of scale -- using a small number of servers that are optimized to do as much as possible. This cloud has the benefit of being 64% more efficient than the private cloud and 95% more efficient than an on-premises cloud.

 

This kind of focus has made salesforce.com a leader in sustainability among high-tech companies. Their commitment to sustainability has been solidified and advanced by one employee, Sue, who started their sustainability program as a volunteer (in addition to doing her regular job) and now leads the effort full-time.

A section of the audience at EcoTuesday

 

EcoTuesday itself is another excellent example of the power of one or two people. Just a few years ago, the organization didn't exist, and now, thanks to its two founders, Nikki Pava and Oren Jaffe, it's spread to cities throughout the U.S and is providing a wonderful and inspiring venue to learn about what people like Sue Amar are doing.

 

This latest EcoTuesday gathering has inspired me to look into how I can help promote sustainability at my own workplace. Although Adobe is already strong in this area, I know there's always more that can be done.

 

Every EcoTuesday evening I've attended has been similarly inspiring. I've met others working on sustainability and learned about all kinds of green resources and ideas.

 

Over a year ago, Erica Mackie spoke at EcoTuesday about GRID Alternatives, a local nonprofit she co-founded that provides solar to low-income families. Since then, I've volunteered at their Solarthon and convinced my employer to sponsor them. Not only that -- a good friend of mine learned about the organization from me and is now working for them. If I hadn't heard about GRID at EcoTuesday, perhaps she wouldn't have thought to apply for the job, and they'd be out a great employee. But wait -- there's more! GRID was started by just two people who wanted to make a difference and saw a need that they could fill. They started small, but 10 years later, they're growing by leaps and bounds. They've installed solar systems for over 1,000 families, preventing over 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

I'm participating in the Solarthon again this year and encourage you to sign up, too! If you can't participate but still want to help, here's a good way to get a bang for your buck and for one person (you!) to do a lot. By sponsoring me, you can help empower low-income families while also helping improve the environment, the economy, public health, and global politics -- which helps all of us!

All of this shows what the vision of a couple people can create. Though we all rely on others and we need to work together to achieve our sustainability goals, each one of us can do a lot. Any of us who worry that we can't make a meaningful difference should look at what people like Nikki Pava, Erica Mackie, and Sue Amar have done. That should be enough to restore our faith in the power of one.

Salesforce.com-Using the Cloud to Benefit the Environment

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Join us this month for an insider’s look into one of the largest growing companies in the world and learn how it focuses on driving sustainability with special guest, Sue Amar, Sustainability Officer at salesforce.com.


Salesforce.com is a true Cinderella story; it began as startup by four people in a small San Francisco apartment a little over ten years ago and now has over $1.3B in annual revenues. Salesforce.com, with its no software motto, has taken cloud computing to the next level. The simple "software as a service" (Saas) model has launched the company as not only the leader in the cloud space but also in sustainability.


According to its website, salesforce.com promotes its cloud system as “The most efficient model for carbon savings” and they have the numbers to prove it. The company shows a reduction in 95% emissions over on- premise hardware and 65% reduction over “private” clouds. In addition to running a lean green operation through optimization, saleforce.com promotes sustainability through an ethical supply chain: procuring energy-efficient services and equipment, choosing environmentally responsible suppliers, providing green tools for clients, and ensuring all leased and owned IT equipment is responsibly managed at the end of their life.


The enormous task of managing all aspects of sustainability at salesforce.com is handled by Sue Amar, Sustainability Officer, who in 2006 realized the importance of the environment and volunteered to spearhead and promote sustainability within the company. Her hard work has paid off and salesforce.com has been become a leader in sustainability and was recently voted as one of the most ethical companies of 2011 by Etisphere Institute.

This month Sue will discuss “Reducing Carbon Emissions in the Cloud” and focus on the following areas:

  •  Collaboration and best practices
  •  Sustainability Leadership
  •  Reducing IT emissions
  •  Community engagement

 

We look forward to seeing you on July 26th at the Adobe Offices (601 Townsend, San Francisco. Please remember to register beforehand! Register HERE.