Harvard Professor Lectures On Green Business

Not enough people have seen this video, so I decided to post it here. Harvard professor
Rebecca Henderson is the Co-Director of their BUsiness and Environment Initiative.
Can one make money while making a difference? Is it easy? Can business be a leader for
change? All wonderful and important questions.
Professor Henderson believes that business potentially has a significant role to play.
Business could unleash power of the private market to address problems in climate -
reducing carbon immisions faster than we can possibly believe.
She believes that business must look at this as the next great trasition. If business ,
one day, believes that there is a need for a decarbonized economy the impact on job growth
would be enormous. Professor Henderson presents some large corporations that are already
taking advantage of opportunities. I hope you enjoy the following video.

Not enough people have seen this video, so I decided to post it here.  Harvard professor Rebecca Henderson is the Co-Director of their Business and Environment Initiative.

Can one make money while making a difference? Is it easy? Can business be a leader for change? All wonderful and important questions. Professor Henderson believes that business potentially has a significant role to play.  Business could unleash the power of the private market to address problems in climate – reducing carbon emissions faster than we can possibly believe.

Professor Henderson believes that business must look at this as the next great transition. If business , one day,  comes to the conclusion that there is a need for a decarbonized economy the impact on job growth would be enormous. Professor Henderson presents some large corporations that are already taking advantage of opportunities. I hope you enjoy the following video.

Frogbox : A Small Green Business

A green business was started in Vancouver, Canada a few years ago and because of demand and entreprenueral spirit, [insert name here] brought in some investors and now that little green business start-up has some very big plans in the very near future. Frog box supplies people with reusable, plastic boxes for moves saving countless numbers of cardboard boxes.
From their website:
“FROGBOX offers a low environmental impact alternative to traditional cardboard moving boxes. Our eco-friendly, reusable plastic FROGBOX moving boxes, totes and wardrobes, and other moving supplies will make your move easier on you and the environment!”
Some of the best ideas are the most simple ones. The great ideas are those that make you say to yourself, “why didn’t I think of that?” and [insert name] has come up with a winning idea and is going to expand and open franchises in Canada and the U.S. I have no doubt that this expansion will be a successful. Whenever I move, I am always scurring around, ooking for cardboard boxes. With our societies changing conscineceness and concern for the environment it is common sense to rent a few Frogboxs to make the move an earth-friendly one.
I am always receiving emails from people looking for ideas to start their own green business. Maybe a green beusiness franchise is the way to go? Do your own due diligence, find out if the economics of the franchise makes sense for you, becuase we know that it makes sense for the environment.

A green business was started in Vancouver, Canada, a few years ago and because of demand and entrepreneurial spirit, Doug Burgoyne, brought in some investors and now that little green business start-up has some very big plans in the very near future. Frogbox supplies people with reusable, plastic totes for moving, replacing cardboard boxes.

From their website:

“FROGBOX offers a low environmental impact alternative to traditional cardboard moving boxes. Our eco-friendly, reusable plastic FROGBOX moving boxes, totes and wardrobes, and other moving supplies will make your move easier on you and the environment!”

Some of the best ideas are the most simple ones. The great ideas are those that make you say to yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and Doug Burgoyne has come up with a winning idea and is going to expand and open franchises in Canada and the U.S. I have no doubt that this expansion will be successful. Whenever I move, I am always scurrying around, looking  for cardboard boxes. With our society’s increasing concern for the environment it is common sense to rent a few Frogboxes to make the move an earth-friendly one.

Eco Florists

I’ve been writing about green businesses for over three years. I’ve written about large companies that have started the transition to going green and I’ve written about small green business startups. One thing that never crossed my radar are eco florists. Aren’t all flower shops already green? The answer is no.
Eco flora was started by floral designer Scott Graham in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They specialize in being an online florist.
From their website:
“Eco Flora is a Toronto based online florist offering exclusively ecologically grown flowers with a contemporary design style. We offer our services year round to our clients in the Toronto area. We use wildcrafted, certified organic, organic and fair trade flowers without the additional floral chemicals.”
Personally, I had no idea that cut flowers could be filled with the diferent number of pesticides – it’s just something that the average person doesn’t think about when buying flowers. We are all aware of the pesticides used in fruits and vegetables, and because of this many of us buy organic produce. Eco Flora is a great concept for a 21st century flower shop. Our hats off to eco Flora, a fair trade and organic florist open 24 hours a day on the internet.
The following video is a detailed look at Eco Stems(http://ecostems.ca), another eco florist located in downtown Toronto.
The following is a short video about eco friendly flowers and is not directly related to the green business Eco Flora.
[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRRPpNhUKBc]

I’ve been writing about green businesses for over three years. I’ve written about large companies that have started the transition to going green and I’ve written about small green business startups. One thing that never crossed my mind were eco florists. Aren’t all flower shops already green? The answer is no.  There are two flower shops in Toronto that offer organic flowers. One has a retail outlet while the other has an online presence.

Eco flora was started by floral designer Scott Graham in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They specialize in being an online eco florist.

From their website:

“Eco Flora is a Toronto based online florist offering exclusively ecologically grown flowers with a contemporary design style. We offer our services year round to our clients in the Toronto area. We use wild-crafted, certified organic, organic and fair trade flowers without the additional floral chemicals.”

The following video is a detailed look at Eco Stems, another eco florist located in downtown Toronto.

Personally, I had no idea that cut flowers could be filled with many different  pesticides – it’s just something that the average person doesn’t think about when buying flowers. We are all aware of the pesticides used in fruits and vegetables, and because of this many of us buy organic produce. Eco Flora and Eco Stems are both great concepts for a 21st century flower shop. Our hats go off to both of these green businesses for not only making the world a better place, but for making it look a little more beautiful too.

Gorilla Food : A Small Green Business

Gorilla Food is a restaurant located in Vancouver, British Columbia that serves raw, vegan, organic food and is thriving because of it. Their owner’s philosophy is “live as an example” and he has become an inspiration to so many people around the city.

I recently ate at his restaurant, which was started with a take-out only concept but has developed into a cozy, unpretentious sit-down/take-out eatery. When I had my lunch I saw a wide spectrum of people, from business suits to Rastafarian’s having lunch at Gorilla Food. The concept works not only because it is unique, but because Gorilla Food’s owner has an awareness of, and an appreciation for, the environment that far too many people lack. In a green business perspective, he recognized that there was a market for raw, organically grown restaurant food. His market niche was small and although still is, it has grown and so has Gorilla Food, as witnessed by the steady stream of patrons.

Personally, I am not a vegetarian, but I was mightlilly impressed with the food at Gorilla Food and will go back again, not only because of the food, but to support a small business that is doing it right.

I am not a vegetarian, but I was mightily impressed with Gorilla Food and will go back again, not only because of the food, but also  to support a small green business that is doing it right.

The Muse: An Eco-Friendly Hotel In NYC

The hospitality industry has made major strides in becoming more eco-friendly. It is no longer a rare occurance to find an established, high-end hotel trying to become more environmentally friendly. But some hotels go further than just changing light bulbs, and this is the focus of this post. Some hotels, like The Muse [http://www.themusehotel.com/] in New York City have taken the term eco-friendly to a new level.
Kimpton Hotel chain was founded in the early 1980’s. What has The Muse done to become a green hotel? First and foremost, they have garnered a lot of credibility as an eco friendly hotel by being certified by a reputable agency, in The Muses’ case, they have been certified by Green Seal’s certification team. The Muse was awarded GS-33 Green Seal certification. [http://www.greenseal.org/certification/standards/lodgingproperties.cfm]
What has The Muse done to become environmentally friendly?
The first thing that the hotel has done is instituting a paperless guest check-in/out service. Something so simple as this can dramatically the amount of paper used by any hotel.
The Muse also offers eco-friendly bath comforts, in-room recycling bins, organic snack and beverage options at the in-room bar as well as organic or fair-trade coffee and tea
. The rooms are also well stocked with linens cleaned with eco-certified cleaning supplies as a side note, there is a towel and linen reuse program which reduces overall water and energy use. Maybe the coolest thing about this hotel is that many unused items, such as unused bath amenities are donated to community programs.
Something that The Muse offers that is a great idea is the availability of guests to use ceramic mugs instead of paper cups. They also use low flow toilets, showers and faucets while having a comprehensive recycling program for cups, clothes hangers, batteries and more.
This is one hotel that has made its eco-friendly mark in one of the greatest cities in the world. We salute The Muse.

The hospitality industry has made major strides in becoming more eco-friendly. It is no longer a rare occurance to find an established, high-end hotel trying to become more environmentally friendly, but some hotels go further than just changing light bulbs. The Muse , a hotel  in New York City, has taken the term eco-friendly to a new level.

How They Did It

First and foremost, they have garnered a lot of credibility as an eco friendly hotel by being certified by a reputable agency. In The Muses’ case, they have been certified by Green Seal’s certification team. The Muse was awarded GS-33 Green Seal certification.

The Muse has instituted a paperless guest check-in/out service. Something so simple as this can dramatically the amount of paper used by any hotel. They also offer eco-friendly bath comforts, in-room recycling bins, organic snack and beverage options at the in-room bar as well as organic or fair-trade coffee and tea.

The rooms are well stocked with linens cleaned with eco-certified cleaning supplies.  It should be noted that there is a towel and linen reuse program which reduces overall water and energy use. Something that The Muse offers, which is a great idea, is the availability of guests to use ceramic mugs instead of paper cups. They also use low flow toilets, showers and faucets while having a comprehensive recycling program for cups, clothes hangers, batteries and more.

Maybe the coolest thing about this hotel is that many unused items, such as unused bath amenities, are donated to community programs.

This is one hotel that has made its eco-friendly mark in one of the greatest cities in the world. We salute The Muse.

The Trends of Green Business for 2010 and Beyond

Today’s business is all about being green. From Walmart to Apple, everyone is talking about how green their approach, packaging, or methods are. But green business is really in its infancy, and the future of being green will no doubt distill down to some very real and definable goals and practices.

In fact, businesses that today find themselves carrying the green banner will be put to the test to define their actions, and it must make sense to the soon to be green savvy public. So, what are some of these definable trends that will dictate the future of green business? Let’s take a look.

A Measure Impact

First up, businesses will find it harder to do business under the “Green” herald unless they hold themselves accountable to their own carbon footprint. While today we can find a number of carbon footprint calculators, the net results tend to vary between sites. As time continues on, these results will merge together to a more cohesive reporting structure, and this is the measuring stick to which the company will report.

A company’s net carbon footprint may be as important to its success as its bottom line, since no doubt one could drive the other. This is especially true if it is a public company that is directly coupled to selling to the public. The voting by the green aware public will no doubt be done by the purse strings.

Building Greener Buildings

For a lot of businesses, a major part of their environmental impact can be found in the very building that their business takes place in. A green building is not only potentially cheaper to operate, it can pay big dividends in brand appearance and customer loyalty.

Already, Obama has been providing money to businesses for energy overhauls, and this is a trend that may be increasing. At the very least the red tape of a new building may tie the expense of a less than efficient building design to increased cost. That is, you may find that it is cheaper to be green than not. Today utilities are being held accountable for energy standards, but incentives may make it the logical choice for all businesses.

Green Branding With The Customer

Soon businesses will find that it is simply not enough to talk to consumers about being green – instead they will need to educate them. Through promotions, handouts, special deals, and other means, businesses will find that an educated customer will better appreciate the new emphasis on being green.

By relating to the customer on green issues, the door is open for further dialog on others. Even such things as giving out free branded reusable bags is a simple but effective way of using the green relationship to build the business and improve the customer relationship.

Open Green Practices

The consumer of today is better informed than ever before, and this is a trend that will no doubt continue. In order for a business to be seen as green, it will no doubt need to have the chain more open to all parties. This can be seen today by the inclusion of local growers for big chain grocery stores, and the trend will no doubt continue.

Not only grocery stores and produce markets will be affected by the need for open green practices. Restaurants will find it beneficial to proudly declare that a particular side item is being provided by a given local producer. The act of being green is really building a responsible community on a global scale, so it should come to no surprise that strengthening the local community ties works well with being green.

With these trends, the future of a successful green business will be defined. The business soon must responsibly measure and report their environmental impact to a given standard. They must build the places of business to a green standard. They will need to reach out and connect to their customers on green matters, to the advantage of both. And finally, they will need to develop and refine openly green practices that tie together the sense of a green community.

While these trends are more evolutionary than revolutionary in their arrival, you may be surprised at how fast they can become a standard accepted business process in 2010 and beyond.

This article is written by guest blogger D. Salmons on behalf of TestFreaks. If you are looking for consumer electronics goods (such as Pioneer AVIC-Z120BT or other products) this website is good for you.

A Business That Gardens The Environmentally Friendly Way

Lawn care was always synonamous with pesticide use, but as times changed so did the use of chemicals on our lawns and gardens. The use of organic and environmentally friendly lawn care products has skyrocked over the past decade to the point where a person walking past a lawn sprayed with pesticides might be a little taken aback. What else could be done in the lawn maintenacne industry to go further in protecting the environment? An answer is The Silent Gardener. A small green business that takes lawn mainteneace to the next eco-level. Using mulches and organic fertilizers these professional and certified gardeners take care of lawns with care and clean conscience. As the name implies Instead of using gas powered equipement, people power is the name of the game at The Silent Gardener. Rakes instead of leaf-blowers and hand push lawn mowers instead of noisy gas-powered lawn mowers help ease noise pollution in a community.
Their Slogan, “working towards a quieter, more livable city” beautifully encapsulates what they set out to do. This might be a perfect idea for starting a green business, for adults or students alike, or for those who contract out lawn care for your business, it might be a way of beginning to make your current business a little more eco-friendly. We salute The Silent Gardener for creating a green business that leaves a lasting environemtally friendly impression in our community.

Lawn care was always synonymous with pesticide use, but as times changed so did the use of chemicals on our lawns and gardens. The use of organic and environmentally friendly lawn care products has skyrocketed over the past decade to the point where a person walking past a lawn sprayed with pesticides might be a little taken aback. What else could be done in the lawn care industry to go further in protecting the environment? An answer is The Silent Gardener – a small green business that takes lawn maintenance to the next eco-level.

Using mulches and organic fertilizers, these professional and certified gardeners take care of lawns with a clean conscience. As the name implies, instead of using gas powered equipment, people-power is the name of the game at The Silent Gardener. Rakes instead of leaf-blowers and hand push lawn mowers instead of noisy gas-powered lawn mowers help ease noise pollution in a community. Their slogan, “working towards a quieter, more livable city” beautifully encapsulates what they set out to do.

This might be the perfect idea that you are searching for in starting a green business, for adults or students alike, or for those who contract out lawn care for their business, it might be a way of beginning to make your current business a little more eco-friendly. We salute The Silent Gardener for creating a green business that leaves a lasting environmentally friendly impression in their community.

SunRidge Farms Bike to Work Program

I love it when I find out wonderful things that some green companies do to help out the environment. It may be a feel good story or it may be just an idea that you can use for your company in helping it turn green. I recently corresponded with a team member from SunRidge Farms a grower of organic and natural foods, and what I found out was simple but it spoke volumes about the company and its commitment to green/enviromental issues. Sunridge has a bike-to-work program for its employees. This program pays employees $5.00 per day to ride to and from work. They say that some employees make as much as $100.00 per month.
I often get emails from people asking what kinds of things they can do to make their business more eco-friendly, so when I found out about SunRidge Farms’ bike-to-work program for employees I knew that I had to share it with all of you.
This just proves that the simpliest of ideas, just a little bit of imagination, can produce amazing things. I salute sunRidge farms and their commitment to the environment. I hope that small and large businesses out there can take Sun Ridge farms’ idea and perhaps impliment it in their comapny, or a variation of it. If it makes sense for your comapny, try doing something similar, or take SunRidge farm’s idea and make it grander.
Paying employees may not be possible if you have a small business, but there must be others ways to make a difference. If you are serious about making your company greener, no matter its size, why not have a round-table discussion and brainstorm how you can ‘green’ the company. If your comapny does not have a recycling program, that is a good place to start. If your business receives deliveries during the week maybe instituting a policy where all delivery drivers are not allowed to idle their vehicles for more than 2 or 3 minutes before having to shut the engine off. These small changes can lead to greater ideas and perhaps your company can come up with a simple yet important idea to make it a greener company. You may even want to share your ideas with our readers by leaving a comment below. Simple ideas and positive changes is where green business begins.

I often get emails from readers of this blog asking what kinds of things they can do to make their business more eco-friendly, so when I found out about SunRidge Farms‘ bike-to-work program for employees I knew that I had to share it with all of you.

I love it when I find out wonderful things that green companies do to help out the environment. It may be a feel good story or it might just be an idea that you can use for your company in helping it turn green. I recently corresponded with a team member from SunRidge Farms, a grower of organic and natural foods, and what I found out was simple but it spoke volumes about the company and its commitment to environmental issues. The bike-to-work program pays employees $5.00 per day to ride to and from work. They say that some employees make as much as $100.00 per month.

This just proves that the simplest of ideas, just a little bit of imagination, can produce amazing things. I salute SunRidge Farms and their commitment to the environment. I hope that small and large businesses out there can take SunRidge Farms’ idea and perhaps implement it in their company, or a variation of it. If it makes sense for your company, try doing something similar, or take SunRidge farm’s idea and add to it.

Paying employees may not be possible if you have a small business, but there must be others ways to make a difference. If you are serious about making your company greener, no matter its size, why not have a round-table discussion and brainstorm how you can ‘green’ your business. If your company does not have a recycling program, that is a good place to start. If your business receives or makes deliveries it makes sense to institute a policy where all delivery drivers are allowed to idle their vehicles for no more than 2 or 3 minutes before having to shut the engine off.

Let SunRidge Farms’ bike-to-work program inspire you. Small changes can lead to greater ideas and perhaps your business can come up with a simple yet important idea to make it a greener company. You may even want to share your ideas with our readers by leaving a comment below. Simple ideas and positive changes is where green business begins.

S&P/TSX Clean Technology Index

A great piece of news has come out of Toronto, Canada. The S&P/TSX Clean Technology Index has been launched. The potential growth of clean tech companies over the next decade is incredible  with the stock market, patient investors and the environment reaping the rewards. The world’s future depends on the rapid expansion and utilization of clean technologies. We cheer the launch of the S&P/TSX Clean Technology Index and hope it becomes a leading indicator of this very exciting area of business and finance.

The index will track the following companies.

Ticker Company
GNA Gerdau Ameristeel Corp
BRC.UN Brookfield Renewable Power Fund
WPT Westport Innovations Inc
CAS Cascades Inc
NPI.UN Northland Power Income Fund
ATA ATS Automation Tooling Systems
AQN Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.
RPG Ram Power Corporation
NAL Newalta Corporation
GLV.A GLV Inc A
PCC Plutonic Power Corp
BLD Ballard Power Systems Inc
BLX Boralex Inc A
RCM Ruggedcom Inc.
BU Burcon NutraScience Corp.
WFI WaterFurnace Renewable Energy Inc
INE Innergex Renewable Energy Inc
MPT.UN Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund
IEF.UN Innergex Power Inc
BPT.UN Boralex Power Income Fund
AZD Azure Dynamics

Cleantech Investing Is On The Rise

With clean energy dominating the news lately I wanted to talk about clean technology investing and the massive importance it is having in the financial markets as a whole. Much of the money being spent by the current administration in America is for clean energy – more wind turbines to lessen our reliance on fossil fuels as one primary example. With this colossal shift lies opportunity for investment vehicles to capture their part of the change to cleaner energy. Socially responsible ethical and ‘green’ mutual funds are gaining in popularity by individuals who want to invest their money in companies with a slant towards environmentalism. Other investors simply want to have their money exposed to a fast-growing area in the financial marketplace.

Whatever their motives, investing in socially responsibility investment vehicles is on the rise, and because of this the Nasdaq and Deutsche Bank joined forces to create a new index that monitors the global clean technology sector. These two well respected financial institutions have created  DB NASDAQ OMX Clean Tech Index (DBCC) which is made up of 119 companies with at least 33% of their revenues generated from clean technologies.

Climate change is a threat to the world, there is no doubt about it in my mind. If these types of indices have been created, and new ethical mutual funds can easily be bought and sold in the marketplace, the business community has come a long way. These are by no means fly-by-night operations. This is here to stay and the strength, size and scope of green business will increase at an alarming rate over the next few years. With Government money flowing into green technologies at a rapid rate and bright and ambitious entrepreneurs, coupled with well established and seasoned corporations getting on board, green business will thrive and may lead financial markets over the next decade.