Educational Programming Professional with 10 years experience in the U.S. and Japan. Expertise includes program development, cross-cultural communication, multi-sector collaboration, image management, and fundraising. Currently developing biofuels educational programming for high school students, coordinating a one of a kind food access initiative in Baton Rouge food deserts, working with Slow Food Baton Rouge, co-organizing Red Stick Greed Drinks, and completing a Sustainability Management Certificate.
Green Marketing and PR
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
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.
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!
Jenny Minoux has worked in marketing and operations in the high-tech and financial industries for the past 10+ years and is currently consulting for the Green Chamber of Commerce. She has always been an advocate of nature conservation, growing up on a family farm in WI and working her way through college at a Colorado dude ranch and Glacier National Park in MT. Most recently, she experienced the forest protection and orangutan rehabilitation efforts in Kalimantan, Borneo Indonesia.
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?
$10 with online RSVP, $15 at the door.
As Community Liaison for Macroscopic Media LLC, I am assisting with a new feature-length documentary, "Unacceptable Levels." An entrepreneur, writer, graphic designer, & creative thinker, I share my vision of sustainable living in homes, offices, & over coffee in local cafes. I am also the founder of two local Meetup groups: a grassroots effort to remove showcase lawns & replace them with edibles and drought-tolerant natives, & women who strive toward living more simply & sustainably.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 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.<!--EndFragment-->
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.
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.
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.